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1  I 



|    ^    ^   in 




Met>ievAL  Lyrics 

The  -publishers  will  he  pleased  to  send,  upon  request, 
an  illustrated  folder  listing  each  volume  in 




MeOievAL  LyRics 

Edited  by  ANGEL  FLORES 





©    COPYRIGHT,     I962,    BY    ANGEL    FLORES 





AND  translators: 

BANTAM     BOOKS,     INC.,     FOR     ANTHONY     BONNEr's     VERSION     OF 

joy"  from  The  Complete  Works  of  Frangois  Villon  (new 

YORK:  BANTAM  BOOKS,  i960;  ©  i960  BY  BANTAM  BOOKS,  INC. 

from  Medieval  German  Lyrics  (london:   Oliver  &  boyd, 

I958;   ©    I958    MARGARET   F.    RICHEY. 
POEM  BY  DER  WILDE  ALEXANDER,  FROM  The  Hudson  Review, 
VOL.    XII,    NO.     I,    SPRING     1 959.    COPYRIGHT,     1 959,    BY    THE 

Random  House  is  the  publisher  of 



In  the  period  vaguely  described  as  the  "middle  ages"  a  vast  body  of 
lyric  poetry  was  produced  which  the  present  anthology  endeavors 
to  mirror  in  as  many  aspects  as  possible.  Considerations  of  unity  and 
expediency,  however,  as  well  as  of  space,  have  imposed  certain  limi- 
tations. Since  English  medieval  writing  is  familiar  to  most  cultured 
readers  of  English,  and  as  adequate  English  versions  of  poets  who 
wrote  in  Latin  do  abound,  it  was  decided  to  devote  these  pages  to 
the  birth  of  the  lyric  in  Continental  Europe,  with  particular  atten- 
tion to  the  rise  of  new  languages  and  techniques. 

Poets  conversant  with  medieval  languages  and  distinguished 
scholars  gifted  with  creative  ability  have  assisted  in  this  task,  and, 
except  for  a  few  poems,  all  the  translations  were  done  especially  for 
this  anthology.  A  considerable  number  of  these  lyrics  are  presented 
here  in  English  for  the  first  time. 

The  editor  wishes  to  thank  his  critics  and  advisors:  Thomas  G. 
Bergin  (Yale),  Andrew  Chiappe  (Columbia),  A.  Closs  (Bristol), 
Margaret  F.  Richey  (formerly  of  London),  Martin  Riquier  (Barce- 
lona), Maurice  Valency  (Columbia)  and  James  B.  Wadsworth 
(Penn  State),  as  well  as  Kenneth  Freyer,  Eleanor  C.  Eldot,  Mar- 
garet A.  Webb  and  Frieda  Baroway,  of  the  Paul  Klapper  Library, 
Queens  College;  and  most  especially  Berenice  Hoffman  for  her 
intelligent  and  painstaking  reading  of  the  entire  manuscript. 


Queens  College, 
Flushing  57,  New  York 

Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2011  with  funding  from 

LYRASIS  Members  and  Sloan  Foundation 


Individual  Table  of  Contents  precedes  each  section. 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  are  at  the  end  of  each  section. 




ITALY  201 


HEBREW  POETS     296 



INDEX    OF    POETS  460 


INDEX    OF    TITLES  464 


ANONYMOUS  Translated  by 

In  an  Orchard,  under  the  Leaves  of  a  Hawthorn  5 

En  un  vergier  sotz  folha  d'alhespi  Maurice  Valency 


Nightlong,  Daylong,  as  the  Sweet  6 

Quan  lo  rosignol  escria  Jacques  LeClercq 

William  IX,  Count  of  Poitiers  (1071-1127) 
I'll  Make  Some  Verses  Just  for  Fun  6 

Farai  un  vers  de  dreyt  nien  Thomas  G.  Bergin 

Under  the  Sun  I  Ride  Along  8 

Farai  un  vers  pos  mi  sonelh  Thomas  G.  Bergin 

In  the  Fair  Times  of  New-born  Spring  1  o 

Ah  la  dolchor  del  temps  novel  Thomas  G.  Bergin 

Cercamon  (c.  i  i 00-1152) 

With  Mournful  Tones  My  Verses  Start  12 

Lo  plaing  comenz  iradamen  Harvey  Birenbaum 

True  Love  Warms  My  Heart  1 3 

Per  fin'  amor  m'esjauzira  Paul  Blackburn 

Marcabru  (fl.  1 1 29-1 1 50)       , 
In  April  around  Easter  the  Streams  Grow  Clear  1 5 

En  abriu  s'esclairo  il  riu  contra'l  Pascor  Paul  Blackburn 

No  Doubt  At  All,  I'll  Take  Him  on  as  Critic  17 

Per  savi'l  tenc  ses  doptansa  Paul  Blackburn 

Winter  Goes  and  Weather  Betters  19 

L'iverns  vai  el  temps  s'aizina  Paul  Blackburn 


I'll  Tell  You  in  My  Own  Way 

Dirai  vos  en  mon  lati 
Since  My  Courage  Is  Clarified 

Pus  mos  coratges  s'es  clartits 

Jaufre  Rudel  (fl.  1 1 48) 
When  the  Waters  of  the  Spring 

Quart  lo  rius  de  la  fontana 
When  Days  Grow  Long  in  May 

Lanquan  li  jorn  son  lone  en  may 
He  Has  Not  Sung  Who's  Made  No  Sound 

No  sap  chantar  qui  so  non  di 

Paul  Blackburn 

Paul  Blackburn 

Maurice  Valency 

William  M.  Davis 

Harvey  Birenbaum 

Bernart  de  Ventadorn  (fl.  1 1 50-1 1 80) 
Friend  Bernard  de  Ventadorn 

Amies  Bernartz  de  Ventadorn 
When  I  See  the  Skylark  Winging 

Can  vei  la  lauzeta  mover 
Fair  Now  to  Behold  the  Outgreening 

Can  Verba  fresch'e'lh  folha  par 
It  Is  Worthless  to  Write  a  Line 

Chantars  no  pot  gaire  valer 

James  J.  Wilhelm 

Daisy  Aldan 

Thomas  G.  Bergin 

Paul  Blackburn 

Raimbaut  d'Aurenga  (c.  i  i 50-1  i 73) 
Full  Well  I  Know  How  to  Speak  of  Love 

Assatz  sai  d'amor  ben  parlor  Maurice  Valency 

My  Lords,  I  Pray  You  Now,  Give  Ear 

Escotatz,  mas  no  say  que  s'es  Maurice  Valency 

Beatritz  de  Dia  (fl.  1 1 60) 
I  Dwell  in  Deep  Anxiety 
Estat  ai  en  greu  cossirier 

Harvey  Birenbaum 

GlRAUT    DE    BORNELH    (c.    II65-I2OO) 

Heavenly  King,  Glorious  God  of  Light 

Reis  glorios,  verais  lums  e  clartatz  Norman  R.  Shapiro 








Raimbaut  de  Vaqueiras  (c.  i  155-1205) 

Watchman  on  the  Tower,  Watch  with  Care  4° 

Gaita  ben,  gaiteta  del  chastel  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

High  Waves  That  Ride  the  Sea  41 

Alias  undas  que  venez  suz  la  mar  William  M.  Davis 



Peire  Vidal  ( i  175-1205) 
When  I  Breathe  This  Air 

Ab  Valen  tir  vas  me  Vaire 
My  Lord  Dragoman,  If  I  Had  a  Good  Steed 

Dragoman  senher,  s  agues  bon  destrier 
Well  Pleased  Am  I  with  the  Gentle  Season 

Be  m'agrada  la  convinens  sazos 
I  Put  an  End  to  Singing 

De  chantar  m'era  laissatz 

Maurice  Valency 

Maurice  Valency 

Daisy  Aldan 

William  M.  Davis 

It'll  Be  a  Long  Time  Again  before  My  Friends 
Tart  mi  vieran  mei  amic  en  Tolosa 

Paul  Blackburn 

Bertran  de  Born  (fl.  11 80) 
I  Have  Made  a  Sirventes  in  Which  No  Word  Is  Missing 

Un  sirventes  cui  motz  no  falh 
If  All  the  Grief  and  Sorrow,  the  Strife 

Si  tuit  li  dol  elk  plor  e'lh  marrimen 
Rassa  Rises,  Thrives,  and  Prospers 

Rassa,  tan  creis  e  monta  e  poia 
About  Two  Kings  I'll  Write  Half-a-Poem 

Miei  sirventes  vuolh  far  dels  reis  amdos 
I  Apologize,  My  Lady,  Though  Guiltless 

leu  m'escondisc,  domna,  que  mal  no  mier 
Ah  How  I  Like  to  See  Great  Power  Pass 

Bel  m'es  quan  vei  chamjar  lo  senhoratge 
I'm  Pleased  When  Gaudy  Eastertime 

Bern  platz  lo  gais  temps  de  pascor 

Paul  Blackburn 

James  J.  Wilhelm 

William  M.  Davis 

James  J.  Wilhelm 

William  M.  Davis 

James  J.  Wilhelm 

William  M.  Davis 

RlCHART  DE  BERBEZILH   (c.   Il8o-I207) 

You  See  Me  Like  the  Elephant 

Atressi  com  Volifanz  Harvey  Birenbaum 

The  Monk  of  Montaudun 
[Lo  Monge  de  Montaudun]  (c.  1180-1215) 
I  Like  Gayety  and  Horsing  Around 

Molt  mi  platz  deportz  e  gaieza  Paul  Blackburn 

I  Much  Dislike,  I  Dare  Avow  It 

Fort  m'enoia,  so  auzes  dire  Maurice  Valency 

Peirol  (  i  160-1225) 
and  Dalfin  d'Alvernhe  (d.  1234) 
Dalfin,  a  Target  for  Your  Bow 

Dalfi,  sabriatz  me  vos  Thomas  G.  Bergin 







4  Provence 


The  Sweet  Softness  with  Which  Love  Serves  Me  Often  69 

ho  dous  cossire  que'm  don'  amors  soven  Paul  Blackburn 

Gaucelm  Faidit  (fl.  1 1 85-1 21 5) 
A  Knight  Was  with  His  Lady  Fondly  Lying  72 

Us  cavaliers  si  iazia  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Uc  de  La  Bacalaria  (c.  i 200-1 232) 
To  Praise  the  Gift  of  Love  That  Binds  My  Heart  73 

Per  grazir  la  hona  estrena  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Gaucelm  Faidit,  Uc  de  La  Bacalaria 
and  Savaric  de  Mauleon  (c.  1 200-1 232) 
A  Debate  74 

Partimens  Paul  Blackburn 

Peire  Cardenal  (c.  i 225-1 272) 
I  Am  an  Enemy  to  Trickery  and  Pride  77 

Tostemps  azir  falsetat  et  enian  Harvey  Birenbaum 

Once  on  a  Certain  Nameless  Town  79 

Uns  ciutatz  fo,  no  sai  cals  Thomas  G.  Bergin 

Priests  Disguise  as  Shepherds  81 

Li  clerc  si  fan  pastor  William  M.  Davis 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  84 



In  an  Orchard,  under  the  Leaves  of  a  Hawthorn 

En  un  vergier  sotz  folha  d'alhesfi 

In  an  orchard,  under  the  leaves  of  a  hawthorn, 
The  lady  kept  her  lover  by  her  side 
Until  the  watchman  cried  that  the  day  had  come: 
Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes! 

"Oh  God,  if  only  the  night  were  not  over, 

And  my  friend  were  not  going  away, 

And  the  watchman  had  never  seen  the  dawn  or  the  day! 

Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes! 

"Fair  sweet  friend,  let  us  kiss  once  again, 
In  the  depths  of  this  field  where  the  birds  are  singing, 
Let  us  have  our  joy  in  despite  of  the  Jealous  One! 
Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes! 

"Fair  sweet  friend,  let  us  play  one  more  game 
In  this  garden  where  the  birds  are  singing, 
Until  the  watchman  begins  to  play  on  his  pipe. 
Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes!" 

"In  the  sweet  breeze  that  comes  from  yonder 
Where  my  friend  is,  courteous  and  gay, 
I  have  drunk  a  sweet  draught  of  his  breath — 
Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes!" 

The  lady  is  gracious  and  charming, 

And  many  look  at  her  because  she  is  beautiful, 

And  she  has  set  her  heart  on  a  loyal  love: 

Oh  God,  Oh  God,  the  dawn!  How  soon  it  comes! 




Nightlong,  Daylong,  as  the  Sweet 
Quan  lo  rosignol  escria 

Nightlong,  daylong,  as  the  sweet 
Nightingale  his  love  doth  greet, 
I  lie  at  my  sweet  heart's  feet 

Neath  the  flower 
Till  the  watchman  from  his  tower 
Cries:  "  'Tis  dawn!  Fair  lovers,  rise! 
Soon  bright  day  will  gild  the  skies!" 



I'll  Make  Some  Verses  Just  for  Fun 
Farai  un  vers  de  dreyt  nien 

I'll  make  some  verses  just  for  fun, 

Not  about  me  nor  any  one, 

Nor  deeds  that  noble  knights  have  done, 

Nor  love's  ado — 
I  made  them  riding  in  the  sun 

(My  horses  helped,  too.) 

When  I  was  born  I  cannot  say; 
I  am  not  sad,  I  am  not  gay, 
I  am  not  stiff  nor  degage; 

What  can  I  do? 
Long  since  enchanted  by  a  fay 

Star-touched  I  grew. 

Dreaming  for  living  I  mistake 
Unless  I'm  told  when  I'm  awake. 

William  IX,  Count  of  Poitiers 

My  heart  is  sad  and  nigh  to  break 

With  bitter  rue — 
And  I  don't  care  three  crumbs  of  cake, 

Or  even  two. 

So  ill  I  am  that  death  I  fear; 

I  nothing  know  but  what  I  hear; 

I  hope  there  is  a  doctor  here, 

No  matter  who, 
If  he  can  cure  me  I'll  pay  dear. 

If  not,  he's  through. 

I  have  a  lady,  who  or  where 
I  cannot  tell  you,  but  I  swear 
She  treats  me  neither  ill  nor  fair 

But  I'm  not  blue — 
Just  as  the  Normans  stay  up  there 

Out  of  Poitou. 

I  have  not  seen  yet  I  adore 

This  distant  love;  she  sets  no  store 

By  what  I  think  and  furthermore 

('Tis  sad  but  true) 
Others  there  are,  some  three  or  four, 

I'm  faithful  to. 

I've  made  this  verse;  if  you'll  allow 
I  think  I'll  send  it  off  right  now 
To  one  who'll  pass  it  on  somehow 

Up  in  Anjou 
He'd  tell  me  what  it  means,  I  vow, 

If  he  but  knew. 



Under  the  Sun  I  Ride  Along 
Varai  un  vers  fos  mi  sonelh 

Under  the  sun  I  ride  along 

And  tell  this  story  in  a  song; 

Ladies  there  are  who  do  great  wrong, 

I  mean  such  dames 
As  turn  a  cruel  and  heedless  ear 

To  lovers'  claims. 

Those  who  will  dally  and  demur 
And  on  their  knights  no  grace  confer 
Do  mortal  sin;  worse  I  judge  her 

That  loves  a  priest; 
By  rights  she  should  be  hunted  down 

Like  any  beast. 

But  hear  me:  silent  and  discreet 
Through  our  Auvergne  mild  and  sweet 
I  rode  and  happened  there  to  meet 

Sir  Guarin's  dame, 
And  Bernard's  too;  they  spoke  me  fair 

And  asked  my  name. 

"God  save  you,  pilgrim,  as  you  fare," 
Thus  cried  one  of  the  comely  pair, 
"Gentle  you  seem  and  debonair, 

If  I  may  judge; 
Yet  many  vagabonds  and  rogues 

Our  highway  trudge." 

Now  mark  the  style  of  my  reply: 
I  spoke  no  truth,  I  told  no  lie, 
But  answered  only  with  a  sigh 

(I  had  my  plan) : 
"Babariol,  babariol, 


William  IX,  Count  of  Poitiers 

Then  said  Dame  Ermesses  in  glee 

To  Lady  Agnes:  "Mute  is  he; 

Let's  take  him  home  and  lodge  him  free; 

When  we're  alone 
Such  sport  as  we'll  devise  with  him 

Will  ne'er  be  known." 

So  then  one  cast  her  mantle  o'er 

My  back,  and  through  her  chamber  door 

Led  me,  and  I  could  ask  no  more. 

A  cozy  fire 
Burned  in  the  hearth;  a  man  had  all 

He  might  desire. 

A  lordly  meal  did  they  prepare 
And  two  fat  capons  were  my  share 
All  hotly  spiced :  the  wine  was  rare 

And  all  for  me. 
No  steward  served,  no  cook  was  there 

But  just  we  three. 

"Sister,  this  fellow  is  too  shy 

To  say  a  word  while  we  stand  by; 

Lest  he  be  scheming  on  the  sly 

Let  our  cat  come; 
I'll  warrant  we  shall  straightway  learn 

If  he  be  dumb." 

So  Agnes  went  to  fetch  the  cat; 
Ne'er  had  I  seen  a  beast  like  that, 
I  fell  to  trembling  where  I  sat 

And  with  good  cause: 
Long-whiskered  was  he,  big  and  fierce, 

With  cruel  claws. 

Those  prudent  ladies  first  undressed 
Their  mute  and  unsuspecting  guest, 
Then  on  his  back  the  cat  they  pressed — 
Keen  could  I  feel 

io  Provence 

Its  talons  ripping  down  my  flank 
From  haunch  to  heel. 

As  Agnes  dragged  it  by  the  tail 
My  body's  length  I  felt  each  nail, 
And  with  the  anguish  I  turned  pale 

Yet  stood  all  meek; 
By  God,  they  could  have  flayed  me  there 

Ere  I  would  speak. 

"Sister,"  I  heard  Dame  Agnes  say, 
"He's  mute  indeed;  I  think  we  may 
Prepare  ourselves  for  sport  and  play: 

Draw  the  bath  hot." 
More  than  a  week  I  spent  with  them, 

Such  was  my  lot. 

Now  hear  the  tally  I'll  relate: 

A  hundred  fourscore  times  and  eight 

I  laid  'em — and  a  woeful  state 

They  left  me  in, 
With  harness  torn  and  broken  blade — 

Aye,  'twas  a  sin. 

Good  Squire,  if  I  feel  no  worse 
Tomorrow,  take  this  little  verse 
To  those  fair  ladies,  with  my  purse, 

And — tit  for  tat — 
Ask  them  in  memory  of  me 

To  kill  that  cat! 


In  the  Fair  Times  of  New-born  Spring 
Ah  la  dolchor  del  temfs  novel 

In  the  fair  times  of  new-born  spring 
The  trees  leaf  out  and  small  birds  sing; 

William  IX,  Count  of  Poitiers  n 

Each  in  his  own  tongue  greets  the  day 
And  all  songs  mingle  in  union  sweet. 
Time  now  it  were  to  tune  my  lay 
Toward  that  which  makes  my  joy  complete. 

Alas,  from  whence  each  good  thing 

No  message  comes,  sealed  with  her  ring — 

How  can  my  heart  be  happy — nay, 

I  fear  me  it  may  cease  to  beat 

Before  I  learn — if  I  learn  I  may — 

If  Love  has  won  or  met  defeat. 

For  love  with  us  has  followed  the  way 

Of  the  hawthorn  tree  whose  branches  sway 

Trembling  under  the  night's  cold  sleet, 

Whipped  by  the  wind  and  shivering, 

Till  light  of  morn  and  the  soft  sun's  heat 

Fresh  bloom  and  life  to  the  young  buds  bring. 

And  I  recall  as  but  yesterday 
When  we  called  truce  to  our  affray, 
Pledging  our  love  without  deceit — 
This  will  I  swear,  God  witnessing: 
Let  my  hands  'neath  her  mantle  meet 
And  I'll  have  done  with  sorrowing. 

From  slanderers'  malice  I'll  not  strav 
From  my  true  love;  in  vain  they'll  bray. 
I  know  how  gossip  fills  the  street, 
I  know  how  jealous  tongues  can  sting: 
Let  starvelings  snarl — we  have  the  meat, 
The  salt,  the  knife  and  everything. 


12  Provence 


With  Mournful  Tones  My  Verses  Start 
Lo  flaing  comenz  iradamen 

With  mournful  tones  my  verses  start, 
with  words  that  rise  from  grieving  heart, 
as  anguish  raging  past  my  art 
tears  youth  and  courtesy  apart, 
and  evils  come  and  joys  depart, 
because  the  Poitevan  is  dead. 

The  praise  is  killed  and  all  reclaim 

that  always  out  of  Poitou  came. 

What  mourning  they  in  France  proclaim! 

That  I  yet  live  is  cause  for  shame. 

Oh,  Lord,  the  baron  whom  I  name, 

may  he  to  Paradise  be  led. 

The  Count  of  Poitou  I  lament, 
who  was  of  merit  complement; 
since  charity  and  worth  are  spent, 
here  I  cannot  be  long  content. 
Oh,  Lord,  do  not  his  soul  torment: 
the  earthly  life  was  good  he  shed. 

Glorious  God,  to  you  I  call, 
who  made  this  grief  on  earth  befall: 
as  we  must  die  for  Adam's  fall, 
do  not  his  soul  with  dread  appall, 
with  bonds  of  fire  in  Satan's  thrall. 
This  life  has  held  us  all  misled. 

I  hold  this  world  as  mean  and  vain, 
for  good  the  poor  nor  rich  attain. 
My  noble  friends  have  dead  long  lain 
while  we  in  wretchedness  remain, 

Cercamon  13 

although  we  know  that  right  will  reign 
the  day  the  Final  Judgment's  read. 

Noble  Gascons,  worthy  your  renown, 
you  are  deprived  of  honor's  crown. 
Fierce  you  must  be  and  meekness  drown, 
since  youth  is  wretchedly  cast  down, 
unwelcomed  now  in  court  or  town, 
except  from  Alphonse,  whom  joy  has  fled. 

The  French  and  Normans  share  our  woe 
and  well  the  Kin  might  sadness  show 
on  whom  he  did  his  lands  bestow, 
and  since  his  lands  and  honors  grow, 
he  would  do  well  to  riding  go 
to  strike  the  Saracens  with  dread. 

They  may  rejoice,  his  enemy 
in  Engolmes  and  Limozi. 
If  he  could  live  and  God  agree, 
he  would  check  their  liberty, 
but  he  is  dead  and  they  left  free. 
In  Aunis  there  is  dole  instead. 

The  plaint  is  made  with  words  worked  right 
by  Cercamon,  who  grieves  our  plight. 
Our  Gascon  joy  is  put  to  flight; 
from  Spain  and  Aragon  goes  delight. 
Saint  James,  remember  you  that  knight 
for  whom  I  kneel  and  prayers  have  said. 


True  Love  Warms  My  Heart 
Per  fin  amor  mesjauzira 

True  love 
warms  my  heart, 

14  Provence 

no  matter  if  he  run  hot  or  cold. 

My  thoughts  attract  on  her  always, 

but  can't  know  yet 

if  I  can  finish  the  job,  stay 

firm  with  joy,  that  is 

if  she  wants  to  keep  me  hers 

which  my  heart  most  desires. 

I  quit  all  lords  and  all  ladies 

if  she  wants  me  to  serve  her  in  it: 

and  who  speaks  to  me  of  separation 

will  have  me  die  tonight.  I 

place  my  hope  in  no  other  one, 

sunup,  sunset,  night  or  day, 

my  heart  dreams  no  other  happiness. 

I'd  hardly  have  spoken  out  so  soon 

if  I'd  known  how  hard  she  softened.  No 

thing  but  does  not  humble  itself  toward  Love — 

her?  she  is  fierce  toward  him! 
But  a  lady  can  have  no  valor,  not 
by  riches  and  not  by  power,  if 
the  joy  of  Love  blow  not  within  her. 

I'd  not  leave  her  feet,  if  it  pleasure  her 

if  she  consent  to  it. 

If  she  wanted  to  she  could  enrich  me,  saying 

she  were  my  woman. 

All  the  rest  whatever,  at  her  pleasure, 

were  it  truth  or  lies,  no  matter, 
that  word 

would  be  all  the  wealth  I'd  need. 

I've  sat  between  joy  and  pain  since 
goodbyes  were  said,  for  I've  not  seen 
her  since  that  day.  She  said  if  I  loved  her 
she  would  love  me.  Beyond  that,  I 
know  nothing  of  her  intent. 
But  she  ought  to  know  well  enough  that  I 
will  die  if  she  keeps  me  in  torment. 

Marcabru  15 

The  fairest  woman  ever  used  a  mirror  never 
saw  anything  soft  and  white  as  ermine, 

as  she  is, 
fresher  than  lily  or  rose — any  flower! 
And  nothing  makes  me  despair  more.  God! 

may  I  enjoy  the  hour 
when  I  can  make  love-play  beside  her! 
No.  I,  no.  She  does  not  turn  toward  me. 

My  lady  would  fill  to  overflow 

all  my  desires,  if  she  but  now 

would  grant — if  only  one — to 

ease  me,  just  one  kiss. 

How  I'd  fight  then! 

war  against  any  neighbor,  give  largely, 

make  myself  feared  and  know,  hurl 

enemies  down,  keep  my  possessions,  my 

goods,  my  own. 

And  may  my  lady  know  that,  for  my  part, 

no  man  of  my  rank  could  serve  her 

with  better  heart. 

And  if  she  pleasure  me  next  her, 
if  she  let  me  lie  next  to  her  level, 
sure  I  would  not  die  of  this  evil. 



In  April  around  Easter  the  Streams  Grow  Clear 
En  abriu  s'esclairo  il  riu  contra'l  Pascor 

In  April  around  Easter  the  streams  grow  clear 

and  in  the  groves,  leaves  burgeon  above  the  blossoms. 

Gentle,  with  gentle  pleasure,  gently 

Pure  Love  comforts  me. 

Who  has  an  acknowledged  lover  of  one  sort 
should  take  him  as  white  if  he  be  not  rubbed  dark: 

1 6  Provence 

pied  love,  always,  the  best  I  can  see  it 
being  traitor  from  habit. 

Pretends  it's  good  bettering  itself,  gently 
serving,  while  evil  is  what  it's  after.  When 
favor's  given  you'll  see  the  heads  broken 
in  many  places,  and  muddied  reputations. 

God  down  and  damn  eternally  pied  love  and  curse  forever 
all  it  stands  for!  The  drunk  at  least  takes  pleasure 
in  his  letch — though  if  he  drink  too  much 
it  drains  his  vigor. 

If  my  love  will  disbelieve  the  muck  that  liars 
make  and  snakes  construct,  my  garrulous  accusers, 
I'll  be  hers  if  she  wants  me, 
without  loud-talk  or  falsity, 
without  lies  or  illusions. 

But  she  doesn't  believe  me.  I  waste  my  time 
reproaching  her  without  a  belt. 
She  makes  her  peace  with  hell  and  helling: 
so  the  tongue  turns  toward  the  swelling 
tooth,  where  the  pain  is  felt. 

Three  of  them  pass  before  where  I  sit  in  the  passage :  I'm  silent 

until  the  fourth  has  finished  fucking  her  and  the  fifth 

comes  tearing  up. 

That's  where  Amor  is  now,  in  foulness  and  filth.  These  cunts 

are  nymphos  in  bed 

seducers  when  they  talk 

and  thieves  when  they  sleep, 

and  these  male  sluts  not  only  want  their  piece — 

but  some  back  in  theirs  as  well,  and  the  best  thing! 

how  shepherds  make  it  with  a  sheep  .  .  .  ka  .  . 

how  describe  this  "culture"? 

Marcabru  17 

He  takes  the  skin  off  a  hard  bird,  who  flays 
and  skins  a  vulture  .  .  . 


No  Doubt  At  All,  I'll  Take  Him  on  as  Critic 

Per  savi'l  tenc  ses  doftansa 

No  doubt  at  all, 
I'll  take  him  on  as  critic, 
who'll  call  the  meaning,  in  my  song, 
of  each  word, 
who's  analytic,  who 

can  see  the  structure  of  the  vers  unfold. 
I  know  it'll  sound  absurd,  but 
I'm  often  doubtful  and  go  wrong  myself 
in  the  explication  of  an  obscure  word. 

These  simple-minded  troubadours  get  off 

on  tangents  which  have  the  excellent  merit 

of  leading  nowhere. 

And  they  turn  into  compulsion  what 

plain  truth  has  accorded  them. 

Out  of  what  truth  has  set  in  order,  they 

make  compulsory  laws 

and  by  a  certain  reflection 

they  fit  their  words  to  fill  the  chinks  and  flaws. 

Without  demarcation 
they  set  Love  and  the  several  ways 
of  letching-af ter-love  on  equal  footing. 
And  he  who's  on  the  make  for  simple  bedding 
will  find  it  is  himself  he  covers  up. 
When  his  purse  is  empty  as  a  street  in  winter 
he'll  see  the  sport  of  sledding  hard 
will  serve  for  consolation. 

1 8  Provence 

I  get  sore  and  I  show  it,  when  I  hear 
from  some  poor  sonofabitch  that  Love 
has  misled  and  betrayed  him,  when 
it's  lechery  has  thrown  him  out. 
It's  to  themselves  such  lovers  lie, 

for  a  lover's  treasure 
is  in  measure,  patience,  and  in  Joy. 

Some  couplings  make  known 
when  two  paths  join  and  do  not  redivide, 
that  of  two  desires,  one 
will  may  be  made, 
and  Fine  Love  walk  beside 
and  live  and  stay 
where  trust  lives,  within 
the  honest  loving  whiteness  of  their  days. 

For  Love  has  the  sign 
of  emerald  and  sard, 
is  Joy's  peak  and  basis, 
and  of  Truth,  the  teacher, 
and  has  power  over 
every  creature. 

To  judge  from  the  semblance 
when  he  speaks  acts,  Love 
arises  from  the  heart  of  things 
when  he  lays  down  his  gage  and  does 
not  qualify  his  giving  for  a  rule. 
The  man  who  does  not  advance 
straitly  toward  Love 
's  a  fool. 

But  it  is  not  worth  an  egg,  my  preaching  at  him,  whose 

already  miserable  heart  is  strapped  by  madness. 

For  I,  too,  think  that  sensual  love 

proceeds  from  the  affections, 

although  too  often  it  proves  false  and  thieving. 

Marcabru  19 

The  fool  sings  out  everything  he  has  in  mind. 

He  follows  no  intelligence  but 

tinkers  the  job  and  botches  it: 

his  love  lives  on  a  kind  of  extortion, 

his  life  is  a  constant  makeshift. 

I  agree  on  principle,  then :  love 

loves  itself, 

constantly  is  steadfast, 

and  probity  has  slimyness  for  breakfast. 

The  end  of  this  vers  uncoils  against 

and  sets  the  weights  to  balance 

this  vicious,  villainous  crew  of  mutts 

whose  stars  are  red  with  malice, 

who  puff  themselves  up  with  crazy  thoughts 

and  have  great  adventures  summarily, 

that  is,  they  decide  to  have  them  .  .  . 

May  the  thought  that  inflates  them 
bring  them  bad  luck  only. 


Winter  Goes  and  Weather  Betters 
L'iverns  vai  el  temfs  saizina 

Winter  goes  and  weather  betters, 
hedgerows  green,  hawthorns  flower, 
for  which  sensible  reason  the  birds  rejoice 

Even  man  grows  gay  with  love 

each  drawing  toward  his  private  choice 

pursuing  his  heart's  pleasure. 

The  cold  and  drizzle  clink  against 
the  gentle  season  to  arrest  it. 

20  Provence 

From  the  hedges  and  from  thickets 
I  hear  the  lancing  song  contest  it 

Put  down  my  name  in  the  entry-books, 
I'll  sing  of  Love  and  how  it  goes, 

if  I  want  to,  and  how  it  grows. 

Letching  love  gets  started,  then  it  grabs 

and  cheats  with  a  greedy,  dire  will. 
Had  just  once,  a  cunt's  softness 

combusts,  lights  the  damned  traitorous  fire 

And  no  one  who  falls  into  that  blaze, 
if  he  really  mean  it,  or  just  to  try  it 

will  come  out  with  his  hair  on  Fridays. 

Fine  Love  carries  a  medicine 
intended  to  heal  his  companion. 
Lechery  binds  and  cramps  his  well 
then  shoves  him  down  into  a  kind  of  hell 

Long  as  there's  the  smell  of  money 
it'll  wear  love's  face  both  front  and  rear 
but  when  the  cash  runs  low,  you'll  hear 
"the  road,  sonny,  the  road." 

Luring,  enticing  with  sweet  bait 
to  get  the  poor  gull  into  the  trap 
until  they  have  him,  head  and  shoulders, 
signal  "yes"  while  saying  "no" : 

I  prefer  as  lover  a  man  who's  dark 
or  light-skinned,  or  nicely  tanned, 
I'll  make  it  with  you — no  I  won't 

crazy  for  a  skinny  behind! 

Marcabru  21 

The  lady  doesn't  know  Love's  face 
when  she  loves  a  servant  of  the  house: 
and  if  he  covers  her  at  her  will 
then  it's  the  mongrel  with  the  greyhound  bitch 

That's  how  these  rich  alloys  are  got 
who  will  not  lay  out  feasts  or  silver 

and  it's  Marcabru  who  says  so. 

The  guardian  gets  into  the  back 
and  hurries  to  blow  up  the  fire  a  bit, 
then  drinks  the  smoke  from  the  waterbutt 

of  his  Lady  Goodandexcited. 

I  know  how  well  he  rests  when  he  lies  down 
and  gets  the  grain  out  of  the  sack 

and  perpetuates  his  master's  name. 

Who  has  Amor  as  a  neighbor 
and  lives  on  the  allowance  he  gets, 
good  name,  spunk  and  integrity 
incline  to  him  without  complaint 

He  who  acts  as  straight  as  he  talks 
will  not  have  the  same  laments  as 

sir  Eglain,  that  balancing  grain-sack. 

For  myself,  I  hold  no  more 

with  sir  Eble's  theory  of  trobar 
that's  made  a  stack  of  foolish  decisions 
and  upholds  them  against  all  reason. 

I  say,  and've  said,  and  will  again: 
they  feed  us  only  rationalization. 
Love  weeps  to  be  differentiated 
from  lechery.  Plain,  it's  plain 

22  Provence 

that  he  who  whines  against  Fine  Love 
's  a  botch.  Let  him  complain 


I'll  Tell  You  in  My  Own  Way 

Dirai  vos  en  mon  lati 

I'll  tell  you 

in  my  own  way 

what  I've  seen 

and  what  I  see. 
I  think  the  world  will  hardly  last 
according  to  scripture,  for  nowadays 
the  son  fails  toward  the  father, 
father  toward  son  equally. 

Youth,  turned  from  the  road  toward  full  decline 
and  Gift,  who  was  his  brother, 
slip  off  in  the  night  together. 

And  our  sir  Constans,  the  Great  Deceiver, 
would  never  have  missed  them. 

Often,  a  rich  man's  bread  and  wine 
feed  a  bad  neighbor,  and  if  he 
has  a  hard  face,  it's  sure  to  be 
a  hard  morning,  if  what  the  farmer 

says  is  true, 
or  that's  how  the  proverb  goes. 

In  the  mill,  the  miller  judges: 
"What's  well  bound  should  be  well  loosed." 
And  the  labourer  behind  his  plowshare: 
"Good  harvest  comes  from  a  good  field" 
"Evil  son  from  evil  mother" 
"The  lickorous  mare  breeds  a  mean- 
hearted  little  beast." 

Marcabru  2,3 

Two  colts  are  born — mettlesome,  handsome, 
with  blond  manes  that  will  turn  from 
blond  to  mouse  and  make  them  resemble  two  asses. 
Youth  and  Joy  have  turned  into  swindlers 
and  Malice  sent  in  as  replacement. 

You  married  men,  you  act  like  goats. 
You  plump  the  cushions  up  a  bit, 
the  cunts  all  wink  and  get  undressed. 
But  it  cuts  both  ways — and  when  you  say 

"My  sons  laugh  at  me" 
and  youVe  had  nothing  to  do  with  it, 
that  is,  the  birth  of  your  sons,  what  goats! 
You  have  a  spirit  that  would  look  better  sheepish. 
Worth  nothing  to  me  to  lecture  at  'em. 
The  errors  they  make  are  always  the  same. 
And  one  thing  Marcabru's  never  seen, 
and  that's  these  merry  married  men 

give  up  their  cheating 

when  love's  the  game. 

Always  you  cut  instead  of  shaving,  lads, 
when  love's  the  game. 


Since  My  Courage  Is  Clarified 
Pus  mos  coratges  s'es  clartits 

Since  my  courage  is  clarified 
by  the  Joy  I'm  given,  and  I 
see  Love  parcel  out  and  choose, 
wherein  I  hope  to  be  a  richness  to  her, 
I  do  a  good  job  and  winnow  out  my  song 
so  no  one  can  put  me  in  the  wrong, 
since  for  a  little  thing 
a  man  can  be  contradicted  when  he  sings. 

24  Provence 

The  one  whom  Fine  Love  singles  out 
lives  happy,  courteous  and  wise. 
And  he  to  whom  Joy  is  refused,  is 
undone,  sent  out  to  ruin.  For  he 
who  carps  at  Love  is  made  to  hang 
his  mouth  wide  like  a  fool  and  think 
it  was  his  own  artifice  destroyed  him. 

Such  are  false-hearted  judges,  thieves, 
false-witnesses  and  cheating  husbands, 
back-biters,  painted-up  young  men, 
lip-servicers  and  convent-crackers, 
and  these  flaming  whores  who'll  do 
agreeable  things  with  other  women's 
husbands,  all  will  earn  their  hell. 

Homicides,  traitors,  the  crud  that  sells 
church  preferments,  the  magicians, 
usurers,  in  sex  the  aestheticians 
who  make  livings  from  their  dirty  trade, 
those  who  submit  themselves  to  charms 
and  the  fetid  hags  who  make  them,  will 
all  share  unrelenting  flames. 

Seducers,  drunkards,  false  priests,  false 
abbots,  nuns,  the  false  recluse 
will  get  theirs  then,  says  Marcabru. 
For  each  one  has  his  seat  reserved, 
Fine  Love  has  promised  it  will  be  thus: 
great  lamentation  and  gnashing  teeth. 

0  noble  Love,  source  of  all  giving, 

by  whom  the  whole  world  is  illumined, 

1  cry  mercy! 

Keep  these  whiners  from  me!  and 
may  I  be  defended  against  the  fire! 
On  every  side  I  hold  myself  your  prisoner, 
and  comforted  by  you  in  all  things,  hope 
that  you  shall  be  my  guide  and  all  my  light. 

Jaufre  Rudel  25 

With  this  vers  I  curb  my  heart 
and  direct  the  reproach  at  myself, 
for  he  who  would  be  a  critic 
is  in,  if  he  can  guard  himself,  not 
blot  himself  with  the  same  crime 
he  charges  the  lady  with,  and  think 
he's  in  the  right  to  rate  her  down. 

And  if  it  is  a  well-chosen  bit, 
what  I  know  to  say  well,  and  say, 
he  can  if  he  like,  remember  it. 



When  the  Waters  of  the  Spring 
Quan  lo  rius  de  la  fontana 

When  the  waters  of  the  spring 

Run  clear  once  more, 

And  the  flower  of  the  eglantine  blooms, 

And  the  little  nightingale  on  the  branch 

Turns  and  repeats  and  modulates 

Its  song,  and  refines  it, 

It  is  right  that  I  too  should  sing  of  my  love. 

Love  of  a  far-off  land, 

For  you  my  whole  heart  is  aching, 

And  I  can  find  no  relief 

Unless  I  hear  your  call 

To  a  sweet  meeting  of  love 

In  an  orchard,  or  behind  a  curtain, 

With  a  beloved  companion. 

Since  always  this  chance  is  denied  me, 
I  do  not  wonder  that  I  consume  myself, 
For  never,  as  God  wills, 

2,6  Provence 

Was  there  seen  a  lovelier  woman, 
Christian,  Jewess,  or  Saracen, 
And  the  man  is  fed  with  manna 
Who  with  aught  of  her  love  is  rewarded. 

The  desire  of  my  heart  ever  tends 

Toward  her  whom  most  I  love, 

And  I  think  that  my  wish  abuses  me 

When  by  its  vehemence  it  deprives  me  of  her; 

For  more  poignant  than  a  thorn 

Is  the  pain  that  only  joy  can  cure, 

And  for  that  I  ask  no  man's  sympathy. 

Without  brevet  of  parchment 

I  send  this  song  that  we  sing 

In  plain  roman  language 

By  Filhol  to  Don  Hugo  Brun : 

It  is  good  to  hear  that  the  people  of  Poitou, 

Of  Berry,  and  of  Guyenne 

Rejoice  because  of  him,  and  those  of  Brittany. 


When  Days  Grow  Long  in  May 
Lanquan  li  jorn  son  lone  en  may 

When  days  grow  long  in  May 

I  like  to  hear  the  birds  sing  far  away 

And  when  I  leave  or  stray 

I  bring  to  mind  a  loved  one  far  away: 

Then  I'm  gloomy,  pensive,  and  dismayed 

And  then  no  song  of  birds  or  hawthorn  spray 

Can  please  me  more  than  winter's  frozen  gray. 

Indeed  I  deem  the  lord  is  true 

Through  whom  I'll  view  my  loved  one  far  away; 

And  for  one  good  that  forces  me  to  rue 

Jaufre  Rudel  27 

I  have  two  evils,  for  she's  too  far  away. 
Ah,  were  I  to  tread  the  pilgrim's  way 
Then  I'd  go  with  bell  and  cape 
To  have  her  lovely  pupils  meet  my  gaze. 

What  joy  I'll  have  when  first  I  say 

For  love  of  God,  lodge  one  from  far  away: 

And,  if  she  please,  I'll  lodge  and  stay 

Near  to  her,  though  now  I'm  far  away: 

Then  sweet  converse  will  hold  sway 

When  her  distant  lover  stays 

So  close,  and  speaks  his  praise! 

Sad  and  joyous,  I'll  slip  from  view 

If  e'er  I  see  her,  my  love  from  far  away: 

But  when  I'll  see  her,  I've  no  cue 

For  our  two  lands  are  far  away: 

As  roads  and  byways  wander, 

About  it  all  I  say: 

God's  will  be  done,  and  praised! 

Ne'er  in  love  can  I  be  gay 

If  I  don't  gain  my  love  from  far  away, 

For  nobler  or  better  holds  no  sway 

In  any  place,  though  near  or  far  away; 

So  true  in  merit  and  in  grace 

That  I  would  go  to  Arrabace 

And  be  their  captive,  if  she  called! 

May  God  who  made  all  walking,  creeping  things 

And  formed  this  love  from  far  away 

Give  me  power,  for  my  heart  stings 

To  see  my  love  from  far  away. 

Truly,  when  dwelling  in  that  place 

My  mind  makes  room  and  garden 

A  palace  to  my  gaze! 

He  speaks  true  who  calls  me  wilful 
Seeking  love  from  far  away: 

2,8  Provence 

For  no  happiness  so  thrills  me 

As  joy  in  love  from  far  away 

But  what  I  long  for  most,  denies  me 

For  I  bear  a  godsire's  curse 

Who  made  me  love  though  loveless  in  return. 

But  what  I  long  for  most,  denies  me, 

So  I  curse  the  wicked  godsire 

Who  made  me  love  though  loveless  in  return! 


He  Has  Not  Sung  Who's  Made  No  Sound 

No  sap  chantar  qui  so  non  di 

He  has  not  sung  who's  made  no  sound, 
nor  with  no  words,  a  verse  begun; 
he  cannot  rhyme  who  can't  expound 
the  rules  with  which  it  must  be  done. 
For  my  songs — the  more  you  hear  them, 
the  more,  indeed,  you  will  revere  them. 

I  have  not  lost  my  senses  clean 

to  love  one  I  shall  not  behold : 

except  for  her  I've  never  seen, 

my  heart  no  joy  of  love  can  hold. 

No  pleasures  now  can  make  me  smile, 

and  I  cannot  hope  for  help  meanwhile. 

I  die  of  wounds  from  blows  of  bliss, 
while  stings  of  love,  which  dry  the  flesh, 
my  health  and  all  my  strength  dismiss, 
and  nothing  makes  my  spirits  fresh. 
I  never  knew  such  misery, 
for  it  is  not  right  and  should  not  be. 

I  never  slept  with  so  much  ease, 
my  soul  and  body  far  apart, 

Bernart  de  Ventadorn  29 

and  my  great  grief  beyond  the  seas, 
because  I  lay  without  my  heart. 
But  in  the  morning  when  I  waken, 
by  all  my  peace  am  I  forsaken. 

I'll  never  hold  her  in  embrace 
and  she  will  have  no  joy  of  me; 
I'll  not  be  blessed  with  her  good  grace 
or  promised  that  I  yet  may  be. 
She  tells  me  nothing  false  nor  true, 
and  both,  I  think,  she  will  not  do. 

My  song  is  good,  without  mistake: 
each  word  is  in  its  proper  place. 
My  messenger  will  dare  not  break 
it  up  or  any  lines  deface, 
so  Bertran  and  the  Count  Toulouse 
may  hear  it  sung  without  abuse. 

My  song  is  good  and  soon  will  bring 
delight  to  those  who  like  to  sing. 



Friend  Bernard  de  Ventadorn 

Amies  Bernartz  de  Ventadorn 

Friend  Bernard  de  Ventadorn, 
Why  have  you  stopped  singing 
When  the  nightingale's  cry  rings 
From  day  to  night  to  morn? 

Listen  to  his  happy  refrain! 
All-night  song,  with  flowers  too. 
He  knows  more  about  love  than  you. 

Peter,  I'd  rather  sleep  and  rest 
Than  listen  to  a  nightingale. 

30  Provence 

Certainly  you'll  never  rail 
Me  back  to  love's  foolishness. 

Thank  God  I  escaped  those  chains! 
Though  you  and  other  fine  men  who  love 
Carry  on  like  turtledoves. 

Bernard,  it's  neither  kind  nor  right 
For  a  man  to  lose  love's  grip. 
Forget  about  your  hardships. 
Love,  more  than  any  other  delight, 

Compensates  for  its  pains. 
No  good  comes  without  some  sorrow. 
Today's  tears  dry  joyously  tomorrow. 

Peter,  if  I'd  the  world  two  years  or  three 
To  do  with  exactly  as  I  please, 
This  is  how  I'd  treat  the  ladies: 
No  man  would  ever  grovel  on  his  knees, 
And  women  would  be  so  pained 
They'd  perform  all  love's  tasks, 
Throwing  us  what  we  want — unasked. 

Bernard,  how  could  you  be  so  cruel 
To  make  them  beg?  Better  a  man 
Plead  or  clamor  for  what  he  can. 
Why,  I  believe  that  any  fool 

Who  seeds  a  sandy  plain 
Is  better  than  some  lady-hater 
Dumbly  following  the  wrong  cher  maitre. 

Peter,  my  heart  beats  sadly 
When  I  think  how  a  woman's  lies 
Killed  me.  She'd  no  reason  why, 
For  I  never  loved  her  badly. 

A  love-fast  I've  maintained, 
Knowing  that  if  I  still  don't  eat, 
None  of  this  pain  will  retreat. 

Bernard,  you're  folly's  slave, 

For  the  love  you  painstakingly  flee 

Fathers  all  worth  and  integrity. 

Bernart  de  Ventadorn  31 

Peter,  a  man  who  loves  is  depraved, 

For  the  sweet  cheats  have  conspired  to  destroy 

All  worth  and  integrity  and  joy. 


When  I  See  the  Skylark  Winging 
Can  vex  la  lauzeta  mover 

When  I  see  the  skylark  winging 

Joyfully  toward  the  sun,  how 

Her  heart  filled  with  tender  feelings 

She  freely,  easily  glides 

Ah!  I  overflow  with  envy 

For  all  those  who  are  joyous! 

How  I  marvel  that  my  heart 

Does  not  forthwith  burst  with  longing. 

Alas!  I  who  thought  I  knew  love 
Barely  do  know  love  at  all! 
For  I  cannot  keep  from  loving 
One  whose  gifts  I'll  never  share; 
She  has  stolen  from  me  my  self 
My  heart,  and  my  whole  world; 
When  she  smote  me  thus  she  left 
But  my  longing  and  desire. 

No  longer  was  I  my  own  master 
Nor  from  that  time  ever  free 
Since  she  granted  me  a  glance 
From  her  eyes  that  mirrored  joy. 
Glass,  since  I  saw  my  reflection 
My  heart's  deep  sighs  left  me  dying, 
For  I  have  lost  myself  as  once 
Fair  Narcissus  in  the  fountain. 

Women  bring  to  me  despair; 
Nevermore  will  I  trust  them; 

32  Provence 

As  much  as  I  used  to  adore  them 

Nor  will  I  abhor  them 

For  no  one  will  ever  save  me 

From  her  who  confounds  me  and  slays  me; 

All  fill  me  with  doubt  and  with  fear, 

For  well  I  know  that  thus  they  are. 

In  this  my  lady  proves  to  be 

True  woman,  so  I  tell  this  tale; 

She  does  not  wish  what  she  should  want 

And  does  what  is  forbidden  her. 

I  have  fallen  into  disfavor, 

Behaved  like  a  fool  on  a  bridge, 

And  know  not  why  this  befell  me. 

Perhaps  the  prize  was  too  lofty. 


Fair  Now  to  Behold  the  Outgreening 
Can  Verba  fresctie'lh  folha  par 

Fair  now  to  behold  the  outgreening 
Of  woodland  fresh  and  green 
With  tender  branches  outleaving 
While  the  nightingale  under  the  leaf 
Pours  forth  his  longing  and  grief; 
Yet  might  I  find  joy  in  grieving 
If  she  were  at  one  with  my  willing 
Who  knows  my  heart  and  my  will. 

Heart  is  hers  although  she  be  prideful 
To  one  who  ne'er  showed  her  pride; 
She  must  know  I  am  hers  for  the  taking 
Whom  I  would  so  lovingly  take; 
All  else  I  will  gladly  forsake 
So  I  be  by  her  unforsaken, 
And  my  heart  is  hers  for  the  holding 
If  only  her  love  I  may  hold. 

Bernart  de  Ventadorn  33 

I  hold  to  her  love  that  binds  me; 
Aye,  cruelly  love's  fetters  bind; 
For  she  is  wont  to  accuse  me 
Whereof  she  does  ill  to  accuse; 
She  errs  but  I  freely  excuse; 
How  could  I  forbear  from  excusing 
When  she  is  so  fair  and  so  kindly 
That  even  her  wounding  is  kind? 

Sweet  wounds  yet  not  easy  of  healing 
Though  hers  is  the  power  to  heal : 
Let  her  lend  me  her  lips  for  the  sharing 
Of  the  draught  my  soul  would  share — 
Alas,  this  were  too  much  to  dare 
And  she  chides  me  for  overdaring, 
Wlien  I  would  go  thus  discoursing, 
And  bids  my  verse  alter  its  course. 

Verse  then  must  needs  go  veering 
But  from  her  I  shall  never  veer 
For  my  heart  is  fixed  and  desirous 
Of  her,  past  all  other  desire 
And  for  her  love  alone  I  sigh 
While  she,  a  stranger  to  sighing, 
Proves  that  my  death  I  am  seeking 
When  her  beautiful  face  I  seek. 

Death  must  come  of  it  and  not  joy 
Since  I  may  not  hope  for  enjoyment 
Yet  my  hope  is  that  service  painful 
May  with  love's  help  solace  my  pain. 


It  Is  Worthless  to  Write  a  Line 
Chantars  no  pot  gaire  voter 

It  is  worthless  to  write  a  line 

if  the  song  proceed  not  from  the  heart: 

34  Provence 

nor  can  the  song  come  from  the  heart 
if  there  is  no  love  in  it. 

Maligning  fools,  failing  all  else,  brag, 
but  love  does  not  spoil, 
but  countered  by  love,  fills, 
fulfilling  grows  firm. 
A  fool's  love  is  like  verse  poor  in  the  making, 
only  appearance  and  the  name  having, 
for  it  loves  nothing  except  itself,  can 

take  nothing  of  good, 

corrupts  the  rhyme. 

And  their  singing  is  not  worth  a  dime 

whose  song  comes  not  from  the  heart. 

If  love  has  not  set  his  roots  there 

the  song  cannot  put  forth  shoots  there:  so 

my  song  is  superior,  for  I  turn  to  it 

mouth  eyes   mind  heart 

and  there  is  the  joy  of  love  in  it. 

And  the  binding  glance  is  food  for  it 

and  the  barter  of  sighs  is  food  for  it 

and  if  desire  is  not  equal  between  them 

there  is  no  good  in  it. 

God  grants  me  no  strictness  to  counter  my  desire 
yet  I  wonder  if  we  afford  its  acceptance, 
responsible  for  what  we  have  of  it.  Though 

each  day  goes  badly  for  me. 
Fine  thought  at  least  will  I  have  from  it 

though  no  other  thing: 
for  I  have  not  a  good  heart  and  I  work  at  it, 
a  man  with  nothing. 

Yet  she  has  made  me  rich,  a  man  with  nothing. 
Beautiful  she  is  and  comely,  and  the  more 
I  see  her  openness  and  fresh  body,  the  more 

I  need  her  and  have  smarting. 
Yet  so  seldom  her  fine  eyes  look  on  me 

Raimbaut  d'Aurenga  35 

one  day  must  last  me  a  hundred. 

Yet  her  fine  body — 
when  I  gaze  on  it,  I 
grow  like  a  canso,  perfect. 
And,  if  desire  is  equal  between  us 
and  the  darkness  enters  my  throat? 



Full  Well  I  Know  How  to  Speak  of  Love 

Assatz  sai  d'amor  ben  farlar 

Full  well  I  know  how  to  speak  of  love 

For  the  good  of  other  lovers, 

But  for  my  own  good,  which  means  more  to  me, 

I  can  find  no  word  to  say. 

For  neither  presents  nor  praise, 

Nor  curses  nor  hard  words  avail  me, 

Yet  I  am  true  to  love, 

Sincere  and  frank  and  loyal, 

So  I  shall  teach  the  art  of  love 
To  other  good  lovers  of  women, 
And  if  they  follow  my  instructions, 
I  shall  make  them  conquer  in  a  trice 
As  many  hearts  as  they  desire — 
And  let  him  go  hang  or  burn 
Who  believes  not  what  I  say, 
For  all  honor  shall  come  to  those 
Who  hold  the  key  to  this  art. 

If  you  wish  to  win  women, 

And  when  you  want  them  to  do  you  honor 

They  give  you  a  discourteous  answer, 

Turn  at  once  to  menaces, 

And  if  that  does  not  improve  their  manners, 

36  Provence 

Land  them  a  fist  across  the  nose. 
If  they  are  rude  with  you,  be  rude — 
Through  sheer  brutality  you  will  gain  peace. 

And  now  I  shall  show  you  further 

How  to  conquer  the  most  difficult — 

Make  bad  verses  and  sing  them  yourself 

As  badly  as  you  can,  with  much  self-vaunting; 

Honor  the  worst  of  them  the  most, 

And  make  them  for  their  faults  equal  to  the  best; 

And  see  that  your  houses 

Seem  neither  like  churches  nor  ships. 

In  this  way  you  will  gain  your  desire,  I  think, 

But  I  shall  behave  very  differently, 

For  I  care  nothing  for  women's  love, 

And  I  shall  never  change  my  ways 

On  their  account,  any  more  than  if  they  were  all  my  sisters, 

Therefore  I  shall  ever  be  true  and  loving  to  them, 

Humble,  simple,  and  loyal, 

Sweet,  tender,  sincere  and  faithful. 

But  be  sure  to  keep  away  from  this, 

For  what  I  do  is  purest  folly, 

Do  not  do  what  seems  sheer  madness, 

But  cherish  my  teaching  carefully 

If  you  desire  not  to  suffer  pain, 

Grief  and  long  weeping: 

For  I  too  would  be  cruel  and  contrary  with  them 

If  their  houses  pleased  me  more. 

But  I  have  certainly  the  right  to  mock  them, 

Since  I — and  it  is  a  great  dishonor  to  me — 

Love  none,  nor  even  know  what  love  is. 

Only  my  ring  I  love,  which  keeps  me  pure, 

For  it  was  on  the  finger — now,  voice,  you  go  too  far! 

Tongue:  no  more!  For  too  much  talk 

Does  more  harm  than  mortal  sin, 

Wherefore  I  shall  keep  my  heart  locked  up. 

Raimbaut  d'Anrenga  37 

But  my  Bel-Jongleur  will  easily  know, 
For  it  is  of  such  worth  and  is  so  dear  to  me, 
That  no  harm  will  ever  come  to  me  from  it. 
And  she  will  have  my  song,  which  now  I  end, 
At  Rodez,  where  I  was  born. 


My  Lords,  I  Pray  You  Now,  Give  Ear 

Escotatz,  mas  no  say  que  s'es 

My  lords,  I  pray  you  now,  give  ear, 

Though  I  don't  know  and  cannot  guess 

What  sort  of  thing  I've  started  here — 

Vers,  estribot,  or  sirventes, 

It's  none  of  these:  it  has  no  peer, 

Nor  any  ending,  I  confess, 

Save  such  an  one  as  never  yet  was  used  by  man  or  woman  of 

this  age  or  of 
the  other  that  has  ended. 

You'll  think  me  mad  if  I  express 

This  strange  desire  but,  never  fear, 

I  shall  conclude  it  none  the  less: 

I  value  what  I  see  and  hear, 

And  all  the  rest  is  foolishness — 

It  isn't  worth  a  sou,  that's  clear, 

And  I  shall  tell  you  why:  Because  once  I  began  this  thing  for 

you,  if  I 
didn't  bring  it  to  an  end,  you  would  take  me  for  an  idiot.  And 

rather  have  a  sixpence  in  my  fist  than  a  thousand  pounds  in 

the  sky. 
Fear  not  to  do  what  may  distress 
Me,  friend,  but  be  sincere, 
And  if  this  day  you're  powerless 
To  help,  help  me  another  year. 

38  Provence 

For  none  will  cheat  me,  so  I  guess, 
As  she  has  whom  I  hold  most  dear: 
All  this  I  say  because  of  a  lady  who  makes  me  languish  with 

fine  words 
and  long  delays,  I  really  don't  know  why.  Can  she  be  good  for 

me,  my  masters? 

A  good  four  months  have  passed — Oh  yes, 

To  me  each  moment  seems  a  year — 

Since  first,  in  all  her  loveliness, 

She  told  me  what  I  wished  to  hear. 

Since  all  my  heart  you  now  possess, 

Ah,  lady  whom  I  most  revere, 

Why  not  make  sweet  my  bitterness? 

God,  help  me!  In  nomine  patris  et  plii  et  spiritus  sanctil  Lady, 

how  is 
it  to  be? 

You  make  me  gay  in  my  distress: 

Small  wonder  that  my  song  is  queer. 

And  from  those  three,  quite  pitiless, 

You  sever  me,  whose  only  peer 

You  are.  So  strongly  you  possess 

Me  that  a  jongleur  I  appear: 

Lady,  you  may  do  as  you  like  about  it,  as  Lady  Ayma  did  with 

the  shoulder 
which  she  stuck  wherever  it  pleased  her. 

My  what-you-call-it's  done,  I  guess; 

No  other  name  will  do,  that's  clear — 

No  other  poet  or  poetess 

Has  ever  written  aught  so  queer — 

And  may  he  sing  it  with  success 

Who  likes  to  learn  this  sort  of  gear, 

And  if  anyone  should  ask  him  who  made  it,  he  may  say  that  it 

was  one  who 
can  do  whatever  he  wishes,  once  he  puts  his  mind  to  it. 


Beatritz  de  Dia  39 


I  Dwell  in  Deep  Anxiety 

Estat  ax  en  greu  cossirier 

I  dwell  in  deep  anxiety 

for  a  knight  who  gave  himself  to  me; 

it  would  have  done  him  ease  to  see 

I  loved  him  clear  to  piety. 

I  know  now  I  myself  deceived 

when  I  did  not  give  myself  to  him 

and  now  indeed  my  days  are  dim : 

my  grief  will  not  be  soon  relieved. 

I  wish  my  knight  might  share  my  bed 

and  hold  me  naked  in  his  arms, 

that  now  he  might  win  joys  for  harms, 

with  me  the  pillow  for  his  head. 

I  am  more  enamoured  of  this  man 

than  any  famous  lovers  cast  apart. 

I  make  him  master  of  my  love  and  heart, 

my  senses,  life  and  all  I  can. 

My  good  and  goodly  well-loved  friend, 
when  will  I  hold  you  in  my  power? 
That  I  might  lie  with  you  one  hour 
and  kiss  you  'til  my  life  would  end! 
How  I  feel  the  lovers'  fire 
to  hold  you  in  my  husband's  place, 
if  only  you  would  swear  with  grace 
to  do  whatever  I  desire. 


4Q  Provence 


Watchman  on  the  Tower,  Watch  with  Care 
Gaita  ben,  gaiteta  del  chastel 

Watchman  on  the  tower,  watch  with  care, 
For  she  who  is  my  truest  and  most  fair 

Lies  with  me  till  the  dawn. 
The  day  approaches,  uninvited, 
And  the  new  joy  in  which  I  have  delighted 
Is  stolen  by  the  dawn,  yes,  the  dawn. 

Watch  us  well;  do  not  forget  to  warn 
My  dearest  love  and  me,  when  it  is  morn. 
How  I  resent  the  dawn! 
And  when  the  sun  has  risen  high, 
I  curse  the  day  that  made  me  bid  goodbye 
More  keenly  than  at  dawn,  yes,  the  dawn. 

Watchman  on  the  tower,  do  not  tire. 
Preserve  us  from  my  lady's  jealous  sire, 

More  dreadful  than  the  dawn; 
Keep  him  from  us  while  we  sigh 
Of  love's  sweet  tenderness,  for  she  and  I 
Are  fearful  of  the  dawn,  yes,  the  dawn. 

God  above!  No  longer  may  I  stay; 
Despite  myself  I  must  be  on  my  way. 
I  cannot  face  the  dawn 
Whom  I  see  rising  at  his  leisure. 
For  none  delights  at  cheating  lovers'  pleasure 
More  than  perfidious  dawn,  yes,  the  dawn. 


Giraut  de  Bornelh  41 

High  Waves  That  Ride  the  Sea 
Altas  undas  que  venez  suz  la  mar 

High  waves  that  ride  the  sea 
That  makes  the  wind  shift  to  and  fro 
Do  you  bring  me  news  how  my  lover 
Passed  you  by?  I  don't  see  him  return. 

And  oh,  God  of  love, 
Now  he  gives  me  joy  and  now  it's  pain. 

Oh  sweet  breeze  that  rides  from  where 
My  lover  dwells  and  sleeps  and  fares, 
Bring  me  a  wisp  of  his  sweet  breath : 
My  mouth  I  open,  great  desire  have  I, 

And  oh,  God  of  love, 
Now  he  gives  me  joy  and  now  it's  pain. 

Bad  love  comes  from  foreign  soldiers 
Turning  bliss  and  smiles  to  tears; 
I  never  thought  mine  would  desert  me 
For  I  gave  him  all  in  love  he  wished, 

And  oh,  God  of  love, 
Now  he  gives  me  joy  and  now  it's  pain. 



Heavenly  King,  Glorious  God  of  Light 
Reis  glorios,  verais  lums  e  clartatz 

"Heavenly  King,  glorious  God  of  light, 
Look  down  with  kindly  favor,  if  you  will, 
Upon  my  friend  who,  with  his  lady,  still 
Reposes.  There  has  he  been  all  the  night, 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

42  Provence 

"Good  friend,  if  you  are  sleeping  or  awake, 
Gently  arise  and  sleep  no  more.  Afar, 
The  East  is  brightened  by  the  morning-star, 
Bringing  the  day,  unless  I  much  mistake; 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

"Good  friend,  I  sing  to  you  this  eager  warning; 
I  fear  your  lady's  lord  will  soon  appear. 
Already  in  the  forest  I  can  hear 
A  song-bird's  love-call  to  his  mistress  morning, 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

"Good  friend,  look  out  and  let  the  signs  of  day — 
The  fading  stars — prove  I  have  not  been  lying. 
Heed  to  my  word,  the  night  is  quickly  dying, 
For  yours  will  be  the  grief  if  you  delay 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

"Good  friend,  since  first  you  left  to  undertake 
Your  amorous  night,  I  have  not  slept,  but  stay 
Upon  my  knees,  and  reverently  pray 
Our  Lord  protect  you  for  my  friendship's  sake; 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

"Good  friend,  why  did  you  earnestly  implore  me, 
Upon  the  terrace,  not  to  yield  to  sleeping"? 
Throughout  this  night  gladly  have  I  been  keeping 
A  faithful  watch.  Why  do  you  now  ignore  me? 
And  soon  it  will  be  dawn. 

"Good  friend  and  true,  now  taste  I  such  delight 
That  nevermore  wish  I  to  see  the  morn. 
The  fairest  creature  e'er  of  mother  born 
Lies  in  my  arms.  Thus  care  I  not  a  mite 
For  jealous  sire  nor  dawn." 


Peire  Vidal 


When  I  Breathe  This  Air 
Ah  Valen  tir  vas  me  Voire 

When  I  breathe  this  air, 

It  is  the  scent  of  Provence  that  I  bring  to  my  nostrils: 

All  that  comes  from  there  delights  me, 

And  when  I  hear  good  things  said  of  it, 

I  stop  and  smile  with  pleasure, 

And  for  each  word  I  ask  a  hundred, 

Such  pleasure  it  gives  me  to  hear  of  it. 

For  there  is  no  land  more  lovely 

Than  the  land  which  stretches  from  Vence  to  the  Rhone, 

Whose  borders  are  washed  by  the  Durance  and  the  sea, 

Nor  is  there  any  land  which  sparkles  with  such  true  joy. 

And  that  is  why  I  have  left  my  heart  to  rejoice 

Among  those  joyful  people, 

With  her  who  brings  laughter  even  to  the  afflicted. 

For  no  one  can  be  sad  on  the  day 

When  her  face  comes  to  his  mind, 

And  in  her  alone  joy  is  born  and  has  its  beginning. 

And  whoever  speaks  of  her  worth, 

No  matter  how  high  his  praise,  he  does  not  lie, 

For  without  doubt,  she  is  the  best 

And  most  beautiful  of  all  who  live  on  this  earth. 

And  if  I  am  able  to  say  or  do  anything  well, 

It  is  thanks  to  her,  for  it  was  she 

Who  gave  me  the  knowledge  and  the  understanding 

That  makes  me  a  poet  of  love. 

And  when  I  consider  carefully, 

44  Provence 

Whatever  I  do  that  is  beautiful 

Is  but  a  reflection  of  her  charm  and  her  beauty. 


My  Lord  Dragoman,  If  I  Had  a  Good  Steed 

Dragoman  senher,  s  agues  bon  destrier 

My  lord  Dragoman,  if  I  had  a  good  steed 
My  enemies  would  be  in  a  desperate  plight, 
For  the  instant  they  hear  me  mentioned 
They  fear  me  worse  than  the  quail  the  hawk, 
And  they  value  their  lives  at  not  a  denier 
So  proud  and  savage  and  fierce  they  know  me. 

When  I  lace  up  my  strong  double  hauberk 

And  buckle  on  the  brand  that  Don  Guy  just  gave  me, 

The  earth  trembles  where  I  tread, 

And  there  is  no  enemy  so  haughty 

Who  does  not  at  once  clear  the  way  for  me, 

So  much  they  fear  me  when  they  hear  my  step. 

In  courage  I  equal  Roland  and  Oliver 

And  in  courtesy  Berard  de  Montdidier, 

And  my  prowess  is  such  and  I  have  such  praise 

That  often  messengers  come  to  me 

With  a  gold  ring,  with  a  black  and  white  cordon, 

With  greetings  such  that  they  fill  my  heart  with  joy. 

In  all  things  I  show  myself  a  knight, 
And  so  I  am,  and  know  all  the  mastery  of  love, 
And  all  that  belongs  to  courtship, 

For  never  in  a  chamber  have  you  seen  such  a  delightful  man, 
Nor  with  arms  in  his  hand  one  so  terrible  and  fierce, 
Wherefore  those  love  me  and  fear  me  who  have  never  seen  me 

nor  heard  me  speak. 

Peire  Vidal  45 

And  if  I  had  a  good  courser, 

Tranquil  the  King  should  lie  beyond  Balaguer, 

And  he  should  sleep  long  and  sweedy, 

For  I  would  keep  the  peace  at  Montpellier  and  in  Provence 

So  that  neither  brigands  nor  savage  riders 

Should  waste  his  lands  at  Autaves  nor  Crau. 

And  if  the  King  comes  to  the  gates  of  Toulouse  along  the  river 

And  the  Count  issues  forth  with  his  wretched  archers 
Who  all  day  long  shout  "Aspa!"  and  "Orsau!" 
I  dare  boast  that  I  shall  strike  the  first, 

And  I  will  do  so  much  that  they  will  run  back  in  twice  as  many 

as  they  came  out, 
And  I  with  them,  unless  they  shut  the  gates  against  me. 

And  if  I  come  upon  a  Jealous  One  or  a  lauzenjador, 

Those  who  with  false   tales  seek   to  ruin   those  better   than 

And  in  every  way  lessen  the  joy  of  life, 
In  truth  they  shall  see  what  blows  I  strike, 
For  even  if  they  have  bodies  of  steel  and  iron, 
It  will  avail  them  no  more  than  a  peacock's  feather. 

Lady  Vierna,  Mercy  of  Montpellier, 

Don  Rainier,  now  you  shall  love  your  knight; 

And  since  through  you  my  joy  has  grown,  I  praise  God. 


Well  Pleased  Am  I  with  the  Gentle  Season 
Be  magrada  la  convinens  sazos 

Well  pleased  am  I  with  the  gentle  season, 
And  pleased  with  the  glorious  summertime 
And  pleased  with  all  sweetly  singing  birds, 
And  pleased  with  the  flowerets  in  thickets, 

46  Provence 

And  with  all  which  delights  the  gentle  people, 
And  pleasant  above  all,  all  noble  talk: 
Soon  will  good  fortune  grant  me  enjoyment, 
Where  I  willingly  lay  my  heart  and  soul 

For  love  keeps  me  joyful  and  delighted, 
Love  cradles  me  in  her  tender  embrace, 
Love  renders  me  both  brave  and  valiant, 
For  love  am  I  pensive  and  reflective; 
For  love  am  I  so  strongly  enamored 
That  all  my  desires  are  fashioned  of  love, 
For  love  I  admire  courtesy  and  youth, 
Love  dictates  all  my  deeds,  all  my  words. 

Joyful,  fair  lady,  when  I  think  on  you, 
Joyful  am  I  under  your  dominion, 
Joyful  with  your  noble  virtues  praised, 
Joyful  with  your  handsome  bearing. 
Joyful  to  behold  your  perfect  beauty 
And  joyful  when  I  am  wholly  your  slave, 
Joyful  that  my  thoughts  are  only  of  you 
And  joyful  that  I  love  no  one  but  you. 

May  God  protect  you,  fair  and  noble  one, 
But  damn  the  vicious  and  the  envious, 
God  protect  me,  whom  you  have  made  humble, 
But  confound  the  slanderous  and  jealous. 
God  save  the  valiant,  courteous,  esteemed, 
But  confound  the  wicked  and  importunate, 
May  God  save  all  who  love  with  perfect  love, 
But  confound  all  the  allies  of  ennui. 

Fair  dame,  I  long  to  see  you  again, 
Fair  dame,  that  I  can  think  on  nothing  else, 
Fair  dame,  you  can  make  me  feel  so  wretched, 
And  it  please  you,  richer  than  King  Alfonse. 
Noble  lady,  you  hold  me  so  in  thrall, 
Lady,  that  all  will  has  forsaken  me; 

Peire  Vidal  47 

Oh  bear  these  feelings  gently  if  you  please, 
And  thus,  Oh  fairest  dame,  please  pity  me. 

With  you  is  love's  sovereign  and  perfect  joy, 
Joy  which  revives  all  good  and  gracious  things, 
No  other  joy  can  equal  the  delight, 
Of  your  joy  which  makes  all  the  world  joyous. 
Near  you  is  joy  born,  from  you  radiates, 
It  is  joy  which  rejuvenates  the  world, 
And  I  am  filled  with  great  joy  to  recall 
The  joy  of  you  and  your  beautiful  self. 


I  Put  an  End  to  Singing 
De  chantar  m'era  laissatz 

I  put  an  end  to  singing 
Out  of  my  grief  and  sadness 
My  lord,  the  count,  bequeathed, 
But  since  the  king  desires  it 
I'll  quickly  make  a  song 
For  William  and  Sir  Blascol 
To  take  to  Aragon 
If  they  deem  the  music  worthy. 

And  if  I  sing  like  one  obliged 
Because  my  lord  desires  it 
Don't  despise  my  song 
For  my  heart  has  turned  away 
From  her  who  won't  reward  me 
And  robs  me  of  my  hope : 
And  how  the  parting  hurts  me 
God  alone  can  know. 

I've  been  tricked  and  duped 
The  way  good  servants  are 

48  Provence 

For  I  am  thought  a  fool 
— An  honor,  I  suppose — 
And  similar  reward 
I  wait,  for  if  I'm  hers 
Then  I'll  count  myself 
More  lowly  than  a  Jew. 

I  gave  myself  to  one 
Who  lives  on  joy  and  love 
On  merit  and  great  valor 
Whence  beauty  is  refined 
Like  gold,  in  searing  flame: 
For  it  seems  the  world  is  mine 
And  kings  hold  fiefs  from  me. 

I'm  crowned  by  perfect  joy 

Above  all  emperors 

For  I  love  a  viscount's  daughter 

So  much,  that  just  a  ribbon 

My  lady  might  bestow, 

I'd  count  as  worlds  more  precious 

Than  King  Richard  would  three  towns. 

And  though  some  call  me  wolf 
I  don't  feel  it's  a  slur 
Nor  if  the  shepherds  hunt  me 
Or  chase  me  with  their  shouts; 
For  I'll  take  woods  or  bushes 
To  palace  or  to  home 
And  joyously  I'll  meet  her 
Mid  ice  or  wind  or  snow. 

The  She- Wolf  says  I'm  hers 
And  has  good  grounds  and  cause 
For,  on  my  faith,  I'm  hers 
More  than  others'  or  my  own. 
Fair  Sambelin,  for  you 
I  love  Saut  and  Uisson 
And  Alion,  as  well, 

Peire  Vidal  49 

But  gazed  on  you  so  briefly 
That  now  I'm  sad  and  grieved. 


It'll  Be  a  Long  Time  Again  before  My  Friends 
Tart  mi  vieran  met  amic  en  Tolosa 

It'll  be  a  long  time  again  before  my  friends 
In  Toulouse  see  me,  and  long  also 
Before  I  see  Montreal  or  Puy, 
For  I'm  staying  here  with  en  Barral, 
Mon  Bel  Rainier:  here's  ambience 

And  security. 

But  Loba! 

Because  my  eyes 
Cannot  contain  you  in  their  compassing, 
They  are  blurred  and  wet — my  heart 
Sighs  after  you,  remembering 

The  slender  body  on  you, 

The  soft  stroke  of  your  voice, 
A  smile 

Your  face  wore  once — 

Your  name  is  such  the  best  are  envious,  and 

You  can  afford  to  let  their  bitchery  run. 

Your  welcomes  are  so  greatly  prized,  men  come 

Only  to  hear  and  see.  Beauty's  dress 
Is  your  soft  speech  and  youth,  your  insolent 

Vigor,  and  your  balanced  mind. 

Na  Raimbauda,  at  Biolh  I'm  fixing  to 
Take  a  garden  and  a  house  for  hire. 

To  be  near 

Her  I  most  desire.  Among 
Such  mountains,  who  can  recall  the  plain? 
Lady,  lovely  lady,  how  I  love  you!  Life 

50  Provence 

's  nothing  without  you,  death  more  than  life. 
May  clemency  and  mercy  come  upon  you, 
For  my  heart's  in  you,  and  all  my  desire. 

Lady,  when  I  was  within  your  hall, 

It  seemed  St.  Julian  must  have  been  my  host. 

God  never  made  such  a  perfect  day 

As  you  formed  of  that  day  with  your  hand. 

In  your  making  He  made  no  mistake; 

Such  arms  were  cast  only  to  kill  me,  sure. 

I  trust  your  excellence  is  too  good  a  thing, 

But  even  if  you  killed  me, 

It'd  be  my  honor, 

And  if  I  died, 
I  could  only  die  praising,  and  rejoicing. 



I  Have  Made  a  Sirventes  in  Which 

No  Word  Is  Missing 

Un  sirventes  cui  motz  no  falh 

Bertran  de  Born,  as  I  have  said  to  you  in  other  razos,  had  a 
brother  who  was  called  Constantine  de  Born,  who  was  a  good 
knight-at-arms,  but  not  a  man  to  concern  himself  overmuch  with 
honor  and  valor.  Indeed,  he  always  hated  Bertran  and  loved  all 
those  who  wished  en  Bertran  ill.  Once  he  seized  the  castle  of 
Altafort,  which  belonged  to  them  both  in  common,  and  en  Ber- 
tran recovered  it,  likewise  by  force  of  arms,  and  chased  him  out. 

Then  Constantine  went  to  the  viscount  of  Limoges  and  asked 
that  he  be  upheld  against  his  brother.  And  he  upheld  him.  King 
Richard  also  upheld  him  against  en  Bertran.  Now  Richard  was, 
at  that  time,  warring  with  Aimar,  the  viscount  of  Limoges.  But 
Richard  and  Aimar  turned  their  wars  against  Bertran,  ravaging 
and  burning  his  fields. 

Bertran  had  made  swear  together  the  viscount  of  Limoges 

Bertran  de  Born  51 

with  the  count  of  Perigord  who  was  called  Talairan  from  whom 
Richard  had  taken  the  city  of  Perigord  without  having  put  him- 
self in  any  danger  since  Talairan  was  soft  and  lazy.  Richard 
had  also  seized  Gourdon  from  Guilhem  de  Gourdon,  who  had 
promised  to  swear  with  the  viscount  and  with  Bertran  de  Born 
and  other  barons  of  Perigord,  Limousin,  and  Quercy;  all  of 
whom  Richard  had  despoiled,  for  which  reason  Bertran  blamed 
him  exceedingly;  and  for  all  these  reasons  (razos),  made  the 

I  have  made  a  sirventes  in  which  no  word  is  missing 

and  it  never  cost  me  a  garlic. 
And  I  have  learned  such  cunning,  that  if  I  have 

a  brother,  say, 
or  a  cousin 
or  a  second  cousin, 
I'll  split  the  last  egg  and  the  half-denier. 

But  then  if  he  wants  my  portion 

I'll  run  him  out  of  the  county! 

I  hold  my  wits  under  lock  and  key  these  days, 
they've  gotten  me  into  such  scrapes  with  both 

Aimar  and  Richard. 
For  a  long  while  those  two  have  kept  me  worried, 

but  now, 
they've  got  such  a  scrap  going  between  them  that 
if  the  king  doesn't  separate  them, 
they'll  have  the  profit  from  it — 
each  with  a  knife  in  his  guts. 

William  of  Gourdon,  you've  put  a  hard 

clapper  in  your  bell 

and  I  must  say 
you  ring  it  hard,  which  is  crazy. 
But  God  keep  me,  I  am  fond  of  you. 
And  the  two  viscounts  hold  vou  a  fool 

and  laughing-stock 
on  account  of  the  treaty:  yet  they  long 
you  were  in  their  brotherhood. 

52  Provence 

Day  long  I  dispute  and  contend  with  myself, 
defend  and  attack  and  struggle  within : 

while  men  destroy 
my  lands  and  my  stratagems 
make  deserts  of  my  orchards, 


the  grain  with  straw. 
There  is  neither  bold  enemy  nor  cowardly  foe  of  mine 

who  does  not  assault  me. 

Day  long  I  re-sole  and  re-shape  the  barons, 
recast  and  unite  them, 

thinking  to  get  them  into  the  field. 

I'm  a  fool  to  bother  with  'em — 
badly  made,  the  most  meager  workmanship, 
as  split  as  the  chain  of  Saint  Leonard — 
a  man  would  be  mad  to  concern  himself. 
Talairan  does  not  leap  nor  trot 
nor  stirs  him  out  of  his  district. 
He  hurls  neither  lance  nor  dart 
and  lives  the  life  of  a  Lombard. 
He  is  so  stuffed  with  sloth  that 

when  alliances  break  up 
he  yawns,  and  stretches  himself. 

At  Perigord,  near  to  the  wall, 

close  enough  for  a  man  to  throw  a  mace> 

astride  Bayart,  I  shall  come 


And  if  I  find  fat  Poitevins,  they 

shall  see  how  my  steel  cuts! 
brains  mixed  with  armor,  a  red  mud  smearing  their  heads! 

God  save  you  and  keep  you  baron, 
and  aid  you  and  prosper  you. 
May  it  be  granted  you  tell  Richard 
what  the  peacock  tells  the  jackdaw. 


Bertran  de  Born  53 

If  All  the  Grief  and  Sorrow,  the  Strife 
Si  tuit  li  dol  elh  flor  e'lh  marrimen 

If  all  the  grief  and  sorrow,  the  strife, 
The  suffering,  the  pains,  the  many  ills 
That  men  heard  tell  of  in  this  woeful  life 
Assembled,  they  would  count  as  nil 
Compared  to  the  death  of  the  young  English  king 
Who  leaves  behind  youth  and  worth  in  tears 
In  this  dark  world  beset  with  shadowy  fears, 
Lacking  all  joy,  abounding  in  doleful  spite. 

Grievous  and  sad,  sensing  the  bitter  wrong, 
Stand  his  noble  soldiers,  left  behind; 
His  troubadours,  his  jongleurs  sing  no  song, 
For  death's  bereft  the  warrior  from  mankind. 
Still  they  salute  their  young  English  king, 
Who  makes  the  generous  seem  steeped  in  greed. 
He  never  did,  nor  will  he  now,  take  heed 
To  repay  this  wicked  world  its  tearful  spite. 

O  boundless  death,  abounding  yet  in  pain, 
Brag,  brag  that  you've  got  the  finest  cavalier 
Who  ever  stalked  upon  this  broad  terrain, 
Who,  needing  nothing,  never  knew  his  peer, 
For  peer  there  never  was  to  that  English  king. 
God,  it's  more  just,  if  ever  you  would  grant: 
Let  him  live,  instead  of  all  those  tvrants 
Who  never  pay  with  worth — just  doleful  spite. 

Since  love  now  flees  this  jaded  age,  down-weighed 

By  grief,  I  consider  all  its  joys  a  lie, 

For  nothing  lasts  that  doesn't  soon  decay, 

The  way  tomorrow  feels  today  slip  by. 

Let  everyone  admire  the  young  English  king! 

Who  in  all  the  world  of  valiant  men  was  best 

And  bore  his  noble  body  lovingest: 

He's  gone.  What's  left?  Grief,  discord,  spite. 

54  Provence 

You,  who  desired  to  enter  all  this  pain, 
To  rid  our  world  of  its  many  waiting  snares, 
To  suffer  death  that  we  might  live  again — 
We  cry  out  in  your  just  and  humble  name: 
Show  mercy  upon  our  young  English  king! 
Pardon,  if  pardon  pleases,  toward  this  end: 
That  he  may  stand  among  his  honored  friends 
There  where  grief  never  goes — nor  spite. 


Rassa  Rises,  Thrives,  and  Prospers 
Rassa,  tan  creis  e  monta  e  yoia 

Rassa  rises,  thrives,  and  prospers, 
She's  void  of  all  deceit 
And  her  merit  troubles  others 
Though  none  alone  can  harm  her. 
The  radiance  of  her  beauty 
Wins  champions  to  her  cause 
(Though  some  may  burn  with  pain) 
The  best  and  those  most  prudent 
E'er  maintain  her  praise 
And  consider  her  most  gentle, 
For  her  honor,  she  makes  plain, 
Allows  but  one  adorer. 

Rassa,  fine,  fresh  lady, 
Young,  spirited,  and  gay, 
Ruby,  auburn  tresses, 
Flesh,  white  hawthorn  spray, 
Hard  nipples,  dimpled  elbows, 
Her  back,  hot  rabbit  swayed; 
By  her  fine,  fresh  color, 
Her  merit  and  her  fame, 
And  easy  best  they'll  deem  her 
(Those  who  know  and  claim) 
How  madly  I  adore  her. 

Bertram  de  Born  55 

Rassa,  proud  before  rich  lords 
Like  some  young  haughty  thing 
Who  won't  take  Poitou  or  Tolosa 
Or  Brittany,  or  Saragossa, 
Is  so  covetous  of  merit 
She's  partial  to  poor  knights, 
And  since  she  made  me  counselor, 
I  beg  you,  prize  her  love, 
And  may  she  take  a  gentle  vavassor 
To  some  mocking  count  or  duke 
Who'd  hold  her  in  dishonor. 

Rassa,  a  stingy  lord 

Who  won't  protect,  confide,  or  spend, 

Who  accuses  guiltless  men 

And,  for  mercy,  won't  forgive, 

Vexes  me,  and  every  person 

Who  serves  without  reward. 

And  rich  nobles  on  the  hunt 

Vex  me,  and  the  buzzards 

That  boast  of  falcon  flights 

(Among  themselves,  they  never 

Speak  a  word  of  arms  or  love). 

Rassa,  here's  who  you  should  like: 

A  rich  noble,  not  tired  by  war 

Who  won't  retreat  when  threatened 

Or  till  the  battle's  won. 

Better  than  hunters  of  birds  or  beasts 

Who  can't  win  repute  or  lands 

Maurin  made  war  on  Sir  Aigar,  his  lord,1 

And  won  great  fame  and  valor. 

The  viscount  defended  his  honor; 

The  count  tried  to  wrest  it  by  force, 

And  we'll  see  him  at  Easter,  full  of  glory. 

Marinier,  you're  a  man  of  honor,2 

1  Aigar  and  Maurin  =  heroes  of  a  Provencal  chanson  de  geste. 
2  Marinier  =  King  Henry  11 

56  Provence 

And  we've  changed  our  good 
Warlike  lord  for  a  jouster 
So  I  beg  Golfier  de  la  Tor3 
Not  to  let  my  singing  scare  him. 

Papiol,  take  my  song 

To  the  court  of  my  bad  Fair-Lord.4 


About  Two  Kings  I'll  Write  Half-a-Poem 

Miei  sirventes  vuolh  far  dels  rets  amdos 

About  two  kings  I'll  write  half-a-poem 

For  shortly  we'll  see  which  one  has  more  knights; 

Brave  Alfonso  of  the  Castilian  throne 

Is  on  the  look  for  soldiers,  if  I  hear  right. 

Richard  will  let  his  gold  and  silver  fight 

By  the  bushel  and  peck;  to  him's  no  great  fuss 

To  lavish  and  spend;  who  cares  about  trust? 

Why,  war's  more  to  him  than  a  quail  to  a  kite! 

If  both  these  kings  prove  strong  and  hale 
Soon  we'll  see  strewn  on  the  grassy  plain 
Helmets,  swords,  shields  and  mail, 
And  bodies,  spear-split  from  belt  to  brain, 
And  stallions  running  unmounted,  unreined, 
And  many  a  lance  through  thigh  and  chest 
With  tears  and  joy,  sorrow  and  happiness. 
The  loss'll  be  great;  greater  still  the  gain. 

Trumpets  and  drums,  banners  and  flags, 
Standards  and  stallions  of  every  hue 
Soon  we'll  see,  as  our  great  age  drags 
The  holdings  from  every  usurious  Jew. 

3  Golfier  de  la  Tor  =  the  troubador's  nephew 
4  Fair-Lord  =  pseudonym  for  an  unknown  woman. 

Bertram  de  Born  57 

Down  no  highway  will  go  no  laden  mule 
Trusting  the  day,  no  burgher  unaskance, 
Nor  any  merchant  heading  out  from  France. 
No,  he'll  be  rich  who  grabs  as  he  chooses. 

If  Richard  comes,  I'll  put  my  faith  in  God: 
Either  I'll  live  or  lie  hacked  on  the  sod. 

And  if  I  live,  great  will  be  my  bliss; 
And  if  I  die,  thank  God  for  what  I'll  miss! 


I  Apologize,  My  Lady,  Though  Guiltless 
leu  m'escondisc,  domna,  que  mat  no  mier 

I  apologize,  my  lady,  though  guiltless 

Of  what  slanderers  accuse 

And  pray  no  lies  or  discord 

Will  move  you,  faithful,  loyal,  and  true, 

Frank  and  humble,  courteous  and  pleasing, 

From  me,  lady,  nor  let  such  things  ensue. 

May  one  jess1  destroy  my  sparrowhawk 

And  my  lanner  be  killed  in  my  fist 

Torn  and  plucked  before  my  eyes 

If  I  do  not  prefer  sad  thoughts  of  you 

To  desire  for  any  other 

And  love  they'd  grant,  or  dalliance  in  bed. 

I  plead  guiltless,  and  more  deeply 

For  no  cruder  loss  is  borne, 

If  ever  I  should  fail  you,  although  in  thought  alone, 

When  alone  with  you  in  bedroom  or  in  orchard 

May  I  be  powerless  in  love 

And  find  I  cannot  serve. 

1  Jess  —  wrist  thong 

58  Provence 

When  I  sit  down  to  play  at  tables2 
May  I  never  win  a  fig 
May  I  never  score  a  point 
And  throw  snake-eyes  evermore 
If  I  have  ever  courted  or  pursued 
My  lady,  anyone  but  you. 

May  my  castle  be  divided 
With  four  owners  to  one  tower 
May  they  never  live  in  friendship 
And  always  need  their  bowmen 
Doctors,  soldiers,  gatemen,  guards, 
If  I  ever  longed  to  love  another  lady. 

May  my  lady  leave  me  for  another  knight 
And  I  never  know  to  whom  to  turn  for  help 
May  the  wind  grow  slack  when  I  put  out  to  sea 
And  porters  beat  me  up  when  I'm  at  court 
May  I  campaign,  and  be  the  first  to  run 
If  he's  not  lied,  who  spread  his  rotten  slander! 

With  my  shield  aloft,  I'll  ride  the  storm 

Wearing  hood  and  helmet  backwards, 

With  reins  too  short,  not  made  to  stretch, 

Long  stirrups  on  a  low-cut  horse 

And  at  the  inn,  find  a  taverner: 

If  he's  not  lied,  who  spread  his  rotten  slander! 

If  I  had  a  high-flying  duckhawk 

Fine  and  moulted  and  tame 

And  able  to  seize  any  prey : 

Swans  and  cranes,  and  black  and  silver  herons, 

Would  I  trade  it  for  one  badly  moulted, 

A  fat,  queasy  hen  that  can't  fly? 

2  tables  =  backgammon 

Bertran  de  Born  59 

False,  envious,  perjured  slanderers, 

Since  you  perturbed  my  lady 

I'd  like  it  best  if  you'd  just  left  me  alone! 


Ah  How  I  Like  to  See  Great  Power  Pass 
Bel  m'es  quan  vei  chamjar  lo  senhoratge 

Ah  how  I  like  to  see  great  power  pass 
As  young  men  gather  in  the  estates  of  old 
And  everyone — with  babies  by  the  mass — 
Bequeaths  hope  for  a  leader  brave  and  bold. 
Then  I  think  the  age  will  soon  renew 
Better  than  any  flower  or  bird's  refrain, 
For  lords  and  ladies,  knowing  they  are  through, 
Allow  the  young  to  take  up  hope  again. 

You  can  tell  a  lady's  old  by  her  balding  hair. 

She's  old,  I  say,  when  she  hasn't  any  knight, 

Or  if  she  takes  her  lovers  by  the  pair, 

Old  if  she  takes  a  lover  full  of  spite. 

Old  she  is  if  she  loves  in  her  estate 

Or  if  she  uses  magic  as  a  crutch. 

I  call  her  old  when  jongleurs  irritate, 

And  certainly  she's  old  if  she  talks  too  much! 

A  lady's  young  when  she  values  noble  rank 

And  likes  good  deeds  whenever  good's  been  done; 

I  call  her  young  if  her  heart's  fine  and  frank 

And  she  casts  no  evil  eye  on  valor  won. 

She's  young  if  she  keeps  her  body  well  looked  after, 

Young  if  she  knows  exactly  how  to  behave. 

I  call  her  young  if  gossip  brings  her  laughter 

And  if  she  knows  how  to  keep  her  lover  safe. 

A  man  is  young  if  he'll  risk  his  hard-won  hoard, 
Young  if  he's  ever  suffered  need  or  want. 

60  Provence 

I  call  him  young  if  he  spreads  an  expensive  board 
Or  if  his  gifts  approach  the  extravagant. 
He's  young  when  he  burns  all  his  chests  of  treasure 
And  wars  and  jousts  and  hunts  and  rambles. 
He's  young  if  he  knows  every  woman's  pleasure 
And  young  he  is  if  he  yearns  to  gamble. 

A  man  is  old  when  he's  scared  to  take  a  dare 

And  stores  away  his  bacon,  wine  and  wheat. 

I  call  him  old  if  he  serves  eggs  and  Bruyere 

On  days  when  he  and  his  friends  are  allowed  meat. 

He's  old  if  he  shivers  under  a  cape — and  cloak — 

Old  if  he  rides  a  horse  he  hasn't  tamed, 

Old  if  a  day  of  peace  doesn't  seem  a  joke 

Or  if  he  runs  away  from  a  gory  game. 

Arnold,  jongleur,  take  my  song  "Young-Old" 
To  Richard,  let  him  watch  it,  see  it's  sung: 
I  never  cared  a  damn  for  gold  that's  old. 
I  only  prize  my  treasures  when  they're  young! 


I'm  Pleased  When  Gaudy  Eastertime 
Bern  flatz  lo  gais  temfs  de  pascor 

I'm  pleased  when  gaudy  Eastertime 
Makes  leaves  and  flowers  sprout 
And  pleased  with  all  the  happiness 
Of  birds,  who  make  their  shout 

Resound  throughout  the  grove 
And  pleased  when  on  the  meadows 
I  see  tents  and  banners  rise 

And  much  rejoice 
When  on  the  plain  I  see 
Armed  knights  and  horses  camp. 

Bertran  de  Born  61 

And  I'm  pleased  when  scouts 
Make  men  and  treasure  flee 
And  pleased  when  I  see  after  them 
Great  armored  legions  fend 

And  I'm  pleased  within  my  heart 
When  strong  castles  fight  a  siege 
And  walls  are  torn  and  breached 

And  I  see  the  host  ashore 
Fenced  in  by  palisaded  moats 
With  fierce,  close-driven  stakes. 

And  likewise  I'm  pleased  by  a  lord 
Who's  first  in  the  attack 
And  fearless,  with  armored  horse 
Makes  his  vassals  bold 

By  dint  of  manly  courage 
And  when  the  fight's  begun 
They  follow  and  are  brave, 
For  no  man  wins  his  merit 
Till  he's  traded  many  blows. 

With  maces,  swords,  with  colored  helms 
With  crippled,  broken  shields 
We'll  see  the  battle  start 
With  many  vassals  wounded 

Whose  horses  wander  off 
From  masters  cut  or  dead. 
And  when  he  joins  the  fight 

A  man  of  noble  peers 
Will  only  hack  at  head  or  arms 
For  death's  preferred  to  capture. 

I  assure  you,  I  have  less  liking 
For  eating,  drink,  or  bed 
Than  I  have  for  cries  of  "At  'em!" 
From  either  side,  or  neighing 

Empty  horses  in  the  shade 
Or  cries  of  "Help  me!  Help!" 
When  great  and  small  in  moats 

62  Provence 

Or  pastures  I  see  fall 

With  agonizing  flanks 

Pierced  through  by  jagged  shafts. 

Barons,  pawn  away 
Your  castles,  fields,  and  towns 
But  never  give  up  war! 
Now,  Papiol,  go  quickly 
And  tell  Sir  Yes-and-No 
We've  had  too  much  of  peace!1 



You  See  Me  Like  the  Elephant 

Atressi  com  I'olifanz 

You  see  me  like  the  elephant, 

who,  when  fallen,  cannot  rise 

'till  his  companions  sound  their  cries 

to  lift  him  with  their  voices  force 

and  I  must  hope  for  like  recourse, 
for  my  offenses  are  of  such  extent, 
that,  if  the  court  with  its  accoutrement 
and  loyal  lovers  with  true  worth  gifted, 
will  not  raise  me,  I  shall  not  be  uplifted, 
though  they  might  pity  me  and  beg  for  mercy 
there  were  prayers  nor  reason  has  not  yet  helped  me, 

If  I  cannot  my  joy  acquire 

through  the  help  they  deign  to  bring, 

I  nevermore  my  songs  shall  sing, 

for  songs  will  no  more  be  of  use, 

and  I  shall  live  a  life  recluse, 
uncomforted,  for  so  shall  I  desire. 
My  life  is  now  all  agony  and  fire. 

1  Papiol  is  a  jongleur;  Sir  Yes-and-No  =  King  Richard  the  Lion-Hearted. 

Richart  de  Berbezilh  63 

For  me  all  joy  is  grief  and  faith  despair, 
and  I  am  sadly  nothing  like  the  bear, 
who,  beaten  and  treated  without  mercy, 
revives,  grows  fat  and  thrives  more  happily. 

Love  has  power  on  its  side 

to  pardon  what  I'm  guilty  of 

if  I  have  sinned  by  too  much  love. 

Like  Simon  Magus  when  he  claimed 

that  he  was  Christ  and  stood  unshamed, 
I  too  all  sense  of  rightfulness  defied. 
God  humbled  his  audacity  and  pride, 
but  love  is  that  audacity  I  dared, 
so  that  for  mercy's  sake  I  should  be  spared; 
for  there  are  times  when  justice  must  rule  mercy, 
and  times  when  reason  means  but  cruelty. 

A  sad  complaint  I  must  express 

against  myself  and  restless  prating. 

If  I  could  take  to  imitating 

the  phoenix  bird,  which  burns  to  death 

and  then  arises  with  renewed  breath, 
then  I  would  burn,  for  I  have  such  distress 
from  all  my  lies  and  my  deceitfulness. 
I  would  arise  again  in  sighs  and  weeping 

there  where  youth  and  worth  and  beauty  have  their  keeping 
and  where,  except  for  just  a  little  mercy, 
dwells  every  charm  and  virtue  there  might  be. 

I  send  my  song  to  seek  your  ears. 

I  may  not  come  (nor  am  so  bold) 

nor  with  straight  eyes  your  face  behold; 

I  am  so  humbled  and  overcome 

with  no  excuse  in  Christendom. 
Better  than  Woman,  whom  I  fled  two  years, 
I  turn  to  you  in  misery  and  tears 
as  turns  the  stag,  when  his  strength  gives  out, 
to  die  at  the  sound  of  the  huntsman's  shout. 

64  Provence 

Lady,  thus  I  turn  and  beg  your  mercy, 

but  you  can  know  none,  if  love  has  left  you  free. 



I  Like  Gayety  and  Horsing  Around 
Molt  mi  flatz  defortz  e  gaieza 

I  like  gayety  and  horsing  around,  good 
food,  fine  gifts,  good  tilting  fields: 
I  like  a  comely  and  courteous  woman, 
one  who's  not  too  embarrassed  to  answer. 
And  I  like  a  rich  and  generous  man 
who  keeps  his  malice  for  his  enemies. 

I  like  a  man  who  calls  me  affably 

and  unfastens  his  purse  without  having 

to  be  asked  first,  and  a  rich  man  who 

doesn't  feel  it's  compulsory  to  dress  me  down, 

like  to  hear  a  man  speaking  up  for  me,  like 

to  fall  asleep  when  it's  thundering  hard 

and  to  eat  a  fat  salmon  in  mid-afternoon. 

And  it  relaxes  me  in  summer  to 
stretch  out  by  a  brook  or  fountain  when 
the  meadows  are  green  and  the  flowers  new 
and  the  birds  all  chirm  and  twitter:  and  then 
if  my  girl  finds  out  where  I'm  holing  up 
I  turn  her  over  and  have  a  quick  one. 

Bless  them  who  give  me  a  hearty  welcome 
and  don't  go  scrummaging  for  excuses. 
I  enjoy  the  time  I  spend  with  my  girl 
necking,  and  more  if  she  wants  to  make  it- 
Like  to  see  my  enemy  lose  a  good  thing 
and  better  if  it's  me  who  took  it  off  him. 

The  Monk  of  Montaudun  65 

And  good  companions  please  me  fine 
when  I'm  surrounded  by  enemies, 
and  I  hear  someone  else  speak  my  piece — 
and  the  buggers  listened  without  budging. 


I  Much  Dislike,  I  Dare  Avow  It 
Fort  m'enoia,  so  auzes  dire 

I  much  dislike,  I  dare  avow  it, 

The  man  who  talks  much  and  does  little; 

And  the  man  who  thinks  only  of  slaughter 

I  dislike,  and  the  horse  who  leans  on  his  bit; 

And  I  dislike,  may  God  help  me, 

The  young  man  who  bears  too  long 

A  shield  that  has  never  felt  a  blow, 

And  a  bearded  monk,  and  a  chaplain, 

And  the  gossip  with  the  filed  tongue. 

And  I  hold  that  woman  to  be  a  bore 

Who  is  both  poor  and  haughty, 

And  the  husband  who  dotes  on  his  wife, 

Though  she  be  heiress  of  Toulouse; 

And  I  dislike  the  knight 

Who  is  a  braggart  in  a  foreign  land 

But  without  employment  in  his  own 

Save  to  grind  pepper  in  a  mortar, 

Or  to  warm  his  feet  by  the  fire. 

And  I  dislike  profoundly 

The  coward  who  bears  a  proud  standard, 

And  a  wretched  falcon  chasing  ducks  on  a  river  bank, 

And  a  little  meat  cooking  in  a  great  cauldron; 

And  I  dislike,  by  Saint  Martin, 

Much  water  in  a  little  wine; 

And  when  I  meet  a  cripple  on  the  road, 

66  Provence 

I  dislike  him,  or  a  blind  man  in  the  morning, 
For  I  take  little  pleasure  in  their  company. 

I  dislike  the  fiddler  who  takes  forever  to  tune  his  instrument, 

And  meat  which  is  cooked  till  it  is  tough, 

And  a  priest  who  lies  and  swears  falsely, 

And  an  aged  whore  who  survives  her  usefulness, 

And  I  dislike,  by  Saint  Dalmatius, 

Men  whose  lot  is  above  their  merit; 

And  to  run  on  foot  when  the  road  is  icy 

Or  to  flee  on  horseback,  fully  armed, 

I  much  dislike,  and  to  hear  people  swearing  at  dice. 

And  I  dislike,  by  the  eternal  life, 

To  dine  without  a  fire  in  midwinter, 

And  to  stand  a  vigil  when  the  north  wind  blows, 

And  bears  to  my  nose  the  smells  of  a  tavern; 

And  it  mislikes  me  to  the  very  heart 

When  one  who  washes  a  chamber  pot  investigates  the  contents, 

And  I  dislike  it  greatly  when  I  see  an  ugly  man 

Who  has  a  lovely  wife 

And  who  neither  offers  nor  gives  me  anything. 

And  I  dislike,  by  Saint  Savior, 

To  hear  bad  fiddling  in  a  fine  court, 

And  to  see  too  many  heirs  living  on  a  narrow  fief, 

And  to  see  a  bad  lender  lucky  at  dice. 

And  I  dislike,  by  Saint  Marcel, 

A  double  lining  in  a  single  gown, 

And  too  many  masters  in  one  castle, 

And  a  rich  man  who  has  little  joy, 

And  in  a  tournament  when  they  use  darts  and  quarrels. 

And  I  dislike,  so  help  me  God, 

To  see  a  long  table  with  a  short  table  cloth, 

And  one  who  carves  meat  with  scabby  hands, 

And  a  heavy  hauberk  of  untrustworthy  mail, 

And  I  dislike  waiting  in  a  seaport 

When  the  weather  is  bad  and  it  rains  hard, 

Peirol  and  Dalfin  67 

And  to  see  friends  quarrel, 

I  dislike  it,  and  worse  than  death 

When  I  know  it  is  all  about  nothing. 

And  I  will  tell  you  what  annoys  me  greatly: 

An  old  hen  who  struts  about  overdressed, 

Giving  offense  to  poor  wenches, 

And  a  young  squire  admiring  his  own  legs; 

And  I  dislike,  by  Saint  Aon, 

A  broad  woman  with  a  narrow  cleft, 

And  a  bad  lord  who  shaves  his  serfs  too  closely: 

But  in  all  the  world  I  dislike  nothing  more 

Than  to  be  sleepy  when  I  cannot  sleep. 

And  there  is  another  thing  that  I  dislike: 

To  ride  in  the  rain  without  a  mantle, 

And  when  I  find  a  sow  next  to  my  horse 

Emptying  his  manger  for  him, 

And  I  am  annoyed  out  of  all  measure 

By  a  saddle  with  a  shaky  tree, 

And  a  buckle  without  a  prong, 

And  a  man  who  is  mean  in  his  own  house, 

Who  does  nothing  but  make  himself  unpleasant. 



Dalfin,  a  Target  for  Your  Bow 
Dalfi,  sabriatz  me  vos 

"Dalfin,  a  target  for  your  bow: 
Granted  a  lover  fair  and  true 
Whose  lady's  wise  and  gentle  too; 

Can  you  decide  and  fairly  show 
If  he  loves  more 

After  he's  had  her  or  before? 

68  Provence 

Master,  disclose  to  me  your  thought : 
I  know  in  love's  lore  you're  well  taught." 

"Peirol,  I'll  give  you  swift  reply: 

I  know  as  each  true  lover  knows 
That  love  with  sweet  possession  grows; 

Here  is  a  truth  none  may  deny; 
And  it  is  right 

That  sharing  love  be  love's  delight; 

Indeed  love  must  the  act  await 

Before  it  can  grow  strong  and  great." 

"Dalfin,  this  only  I  know  well: 
A  lover's  longing  has  no  end 
Until  he  lies  with  his  sweet  friend; 

Her  favors  his  dark  fears  dispel 
But  after — then, 

Such  is  the  law  of  love  with  men, 

Desire  accomplished,  slaked  at  last, 

The  finest  hour  of  love  is  past." 

"Nay,  nay,  Peirol,  mark  you  well  this: 
A  lover  grows  more  ardent  still 
And  fixed  more  firmly  in  his  will 

With  the  fruition  of  love's  bliss, 
For  after  joy 

Love  is  a  man,  no  more  a  boy; 

Bethink  you  of  Lord  Tristram  dead 

With  Iseult's  love  ne'er  surfeited." 

"Dalfin,  I  hold  Tristram's  desire 

Was  born  of  Brangwain's  poisoned  drink, 
That  magic  potion  was,  I  think, 

His  passion's  sources,  not  love's  true  fire. 
I'll  be  much  blamed, 

I  know,  by  lovers  who  feel  shamed 

By  what  I  say  in  this  debate 

But  my  opinions  I  must  state." 

Guilhem  de  Cabestanh  69 

"Peirol,  let's  end  our  argument. 

You  cannot  doubt  you're  in  the  wrong 
Since  in  the  burden  of  your  song 

Defense  of  falsehood's  evident. 
I'll  not  concede 

That  playing  on  a  lover's  need 

Is  like  to  whet  his  amorous  thirst; 

Nay  rather,  love  will  weary  first." 

"Dal fin,  this  far 
I'll  yield  to  you:  if  love's  gifts  are 
A  check  to  love,  the  lover  wise 
Will  surely  such  effect  disguise." 

"Peirol,  so  well 
I  know  your  story  I  can  tell 
You  but  reveal  your  own  false  heart 
In  here  defending  the  worse  part." 



The  Sweet  Softness  with  Which  Love 

Serves  Me  Often 
ho  dous  cossire  quern  don   amors  soven 

The  sweet  softness  with  which  love  serves  me  often 

Makes  me  write  much  vers  of  you,  my  lady. 

I  gaze  imagining  on  your  bright  body, 

Desiring  it  more  than  I  can  let  you  know. 

Although  I  seem  to  swerve  and  stand  aside 

It  is  for  your  sake,  not  to  deny  one  whit 

That  I  supple  and  bend  toward  you  in  all  love's  ways. 

Too  often,  lady,  I  forget,  and  so 

Implore  mercy  and  am  forced  to  praise 

When  beauty  finds  itself  mere  ornament. 

7<>  Provence 

May  the  love  you  deny  me  hate  me  always 

If  my  heart  ever  turns  to  love  another. 

Yet  you've  left  me  sadness,  taken  all  my  laughter, 

Stiffer  suffering  than  I,  no  man  can  say 

He's  felt,  for,  you,  whom  I  most  want 

Of  anything  on  earth,  I  have  to 

Disavow,  deny,  pretend 

I've  fallen  out  of  love,  and  all 

For  fear, 

Which  you  must  take  wholly  on  good  faith, 

Even  those  days  when  I  do  not  see  you. 

Your  face  and  smile  I  keep  in  memory's  place, 

Your  valor,  your  body  smooth  and  white. 

If  my  Faith  were  as  faithful  as  that  image  there, 

I'd  walk  living  into  Paradise. 

I  am  rendered  so  utterly 

Yours,  without  reservation, 

That  not  one  who  wears  ribbon 

Could  bring  me  any  joy, 

Nor  I  prize  the  compensation 

Even  if  she  made  me  lover 

And  had  me  sleeping  with  her, 

Taken  against  your  simple  straightest  greeting. 

The  charm  of  how  you  are  gives  me  such  joy 

That  my  desire  pleasures  me  every  day. 

Now  totally  and  in  full  you  mistress  me, 

How  overmastered  I  am,  I  can  scarce  say, 

But  even  before  I  saw  you 

I'd  determine  to  serve  and  love  you. 

And  so  I  have  remained, 

Alone  and  without  aid 

At  your  side:  and  lost  by 

Doing  so  many  gifts. 

Let  who  desires  them  have  them. 

I'd  rather  wait  for  you,  even 

With  no  understanding  between  us, 

For  my  joy  can  come  from  you  alone. 

Guilhem  de  Cabestanh  71 

May  mercy  and  love  descend  upon  you,  lady, 

Before  the  sickness  inflames, 

May  joy  burn  us,  tears  and  sighs  banished, 

May  neither  rank  nor  riches  separate  us. 

All  good's  forgot 

If  I  do  not  obtain 

Some  mercy,  beautiful  thing. 

It  would  give  some  relief  at  least 

If  you  answered  what  I've  asked. 

Either  love  me,  or  not  at  all,  for  now 

I  don't  know  how  it  is. 

Because  I  find  no  defense  against  your  valor, 

May  you  have  pity,  so  it  end  in  honor. 

May  God  never  hear  prayer  of  mine  if  I 

Would  take  the  rents  of  the  four  richest  kings  there  are, 

Put  together, 

Against  the  chance  of  finding  mercy  with  you. 

For  I  cannot 

Stir  one  jot 

Away  from  you  where  my  love  is  set. 

And  if  you  found  you  could 

Accept  it 

With  a  kiss 

I'd  never  want  to  be  dissolved  from  this. 

Frank  and  courteous  lady, 
Come  hell  or  high  water, 
Anything  that  pleased  you 
No  matter  how  forbid, 
I  would  set  me  to  it. 

Ray,  the  good  and  beauty 
Residing  in  my  fair  lady 
Has  enlaced  me  sofdy 
Taken  me  completely. 
How  can  I  deny  it? 


72  Provence 


A  Knight  Was  with  His  Lady  Fondly  Lying 

Us  cavaliers  si  iazia 

A  knight  was  with  his  lady  fondly  lying — 
The  one  he  cherished  most — and  gently  sighing 
As  he  kissed  her,  complained:  My  love,  the  day 
Soon  will  arrive,  chasing  this  night  away. 

Already  I  can  hear  the  watchman  crying: 

Quickly,  begone!  You  may  no  longer  stay, 
For  it  is  dawn. 

My  love,  if  there  were  but  some  wile  or  way 

To  banish  hostile  morn  and  prying  day — 

At  least  from  where  we  two  are  fondly  lying — 

Then  filled  with  thanks  would  be  my  gentle  sighing, 

Already  I  can  hear  the  watchman  crying: 

Quickly,  begone!  You  may  no  longer  stay, 
For  it  is  dawn. 

My  love,  I  know  that  he  is  surely  lying 
Who  tells  you  there  is  any  sadder  sighing 
Than  of  two  lovers  who  bemoan  the  day 
That  comes  too  soon  to  chase  their  night  away. 

Already  I  can  hear  the  watchman  crying: 

Quickly,  begone!  You  may  no  longer  stay, 
For  it  is  dawn. 

My  love,  forget  me  never,  for  today — 
Although  I  now  must  rise  and  go  my  way — 

Uc  de  La  Bacalaria  73 

I  leave  my  heart  there,  where  we  two  were  lying, 
To  pledge  unending  love  in  endless  sighing. 

Already  I  can  hear  the  watchman  crying: 

Quickly,  begone!  You  may  no  longer  stay, 
For  it  is  dawn. 

My  love,  if  you  were  not  close  by  me  lying, 
Then  death  would  echo  in  my  doleful  sighing. 
I  will  return.  So  does  my  torment  weigh, 
That  without  you  I  cannot  live  the  day. 

Already  I  can  hear  the  watchman  crying: 

Quickly,  begone!  You  may  no  longer  stay, 
For  it  is  dawn. 



To  Praise  the  Gift  of  Love  That  Binds  My  Heart 

Per  grazir  la  hona  estrena 

To  praise  the  gift  of  love  that  binds  my  heart, 
And  to  appease  its  pain,  I  wish  to  write 
An  "alba"  of  a  different  sort.  The  night 
Is  clear  and  calm;  a  songbird's  supple  art 

Echoes  my  plight. 
God!  bring  the  day  and  let  a  lover's  sorrow 

Fade  with  the  morrow. 

By  all  the  Holy  books,  gladly  I  swear 
That  Tristan,  Flore,  and  all  their  amorous  kin 
Were  not  so  true  to  love  as  I  have  been. 
Let  her  but  start  to  speak  and  I  am  there 
Ere  she  begin. 


God!  bring  the  day  and  let  a  lover's  sorrow 
Fade  with  the  morrow. 

I  shall  not  trust  the  fools  who  think  that  I 
Should  leave  my  love;  I  know  there  is  no  flight. 
She  wounds  my  heart;  I  cannot  sleep  the  night. 
Were  I  afar,  I  should  return  to  die 

Within  her  sight. 
God!  bring  the  day  and  let  a  lover's  sorrow 

Fade  with  the  morrow. 

To  trap  a  bear  or  leopard  I  possess 
The  art;  or  to  besiege  a  fort,  the  might. 
With  Love  my  foe,  however,  I  am  quite 
Unskilled,  and  wish  to  be  more  powerless 

In  such  a  fight. 
God!  bring  the  day  and  let  a  lover's  sorrow 

Fade  with  the  morrow. 



A  Debate 


Gaucelm,  three  plays  of  love 

I'll  divide  with  you  and  Hugo. 

Each  of  you  take  whatever  pleases 

And  leave  me  whichever  one  you  care  to. 

A  lady  has  three  gallant  lovers 

And  with  their  loves  they  press  her  hard: 

And  when  all  three  are  there  before  her 

To  each  she  makes  love's  semblance. 

At  one  she  casts  an  amorous  glance, 

Squeezes  the  second's  hand,  the  third, 

de  Mauleon  75 

She  presses  his  foot  and  smiles.  Now, 
Since  one  is  so,  tell  me  in  which 
Move  she  shows  the  greatest  love. 


Savaric,  you  know  too  well,  which 
Friend  received  the  kindest  gift. 
No  lies,  frankly  it  was  the  one 
Who  from  her  eyes  took  loving  glance. 
It's  from  the  heart  such  softness  moves, 
Her  love's  a  hundred  times  better  shown. 
For,  as  far  as  holding  hands  goes, 
I  say  she  meant  neither  good  nor  harm 
From  a  mutual  pleasure  that's  so  common. 
Why,  a  lady  would  do  as  much  in  greeting. 
As  for  the  foot,  don't  think  it's  proof 
That  the  lady  was  making  love  to  him. 
If  you  took  it  for  love  you'd  be  mistaken. 


Say  what  you  will,  Gaucelm,  you're 

Crazy  man,  you're  so  far  off, 

For  in  a  glance  I  know  no  gain 

To  a  lover — as  you  claim, 

And  if  he  thinks  so,  he's  mad. 

The  eye  regards  others — and  him, 

It  has  no  other  power  than  this. 

How  much  more  when,  ungloved,  the  white 

Hand  squeezed  her  lover's  softly!  Then 

Love  moved  both  from  the  heart  and  sense. 

Since  I'm  maintaining  the  noblest  part 

En  Savaric,  the  polite  pressure 

Of  a  foot  I  can  scarcely  credit. 


Uc,  you've  left  the  best  to  me,  so 
I'll  uphold  it  and  not  say  no. 
I  say  the  gentle  pressure  given 
By  her  foot  was  the  surest  proof: 

76  Provence 

She  hid  her  fine  love  from  gossiping. 
And  best,  while  she  gave  such  heaven 
To  her  lover,  she  smiled,  rejoicing. 
Now  that  is  love,  and  undisguised! 
Whoever  thinks  the  hand's  caress 
Shows  greater  love  just  makes  no  sense. 
Gaucelm,  it  doesn't  seem  to  me  that 
You  can  equate  a  glance  with  it  if 
You  know  love  as  well  as  you  claim. 


Whoever  demeans  the  glances  of  eye 

And  the  pleasure  that  may  be  made  thereby, 

Doesn't  recognize  the  messengers  of  the  heart 

That  sends  them.  They  are,  assuredly, 

For  the  eyes  discover  to  the  lover 

What  timid  hearts  keep  under  cover; 

Thus  they  show  all  of  love's  pleasure. 

But  in  jest  and  laughing,  a  lady  often 

Will  nudge  the  feet  of  many  men 

Without  any  other  understanding. 

Uc  maintains  a  fallacy  when 

He  claims  the  hand  is  such  a  treasure. 

I  say  it  is  not  worth  a  glove. 

I  bet  he's  never  been  moved  by  love. 


Gaucelm,  against  Love  you've  been 
Outspoken,  the  lord  of  Mauleon  too, 
And  does  it  ever  show  in  the  argument! 
For,  the  eyes,  which  you  have  chosen, 
Have  fooled  many  a  faithful  lover. 
As  for  a  lady  with  faithless  heart 
If  she  stepped  on  my  foot  for  a  year 
My  heart  would  have  no  rejoicing.  But 
The  hand  is  beyond  contention,  for  that 
Moment  of  tension  is  better  than  either. 
If  it  had  not  been  Love  that  moved  her 
Heart,  she'd  not  have  put  her  hand  there. 

^eire  Cardenal  77 


Gaucelm,  you've  lost  the  argument, 
You  and  Uc  both,  indisputably. 
And  I  would  have  make  judgment 
Mos-Garda-Cors  who's  conquered  me, 
and  lady  Marie  where  price  frequents. 


Vanquished?  I  sir?  By  no  means, 
And  the  judge  shall  make  it  all  too  plain. 
And  I  wish  might  be  that  same 
The  lady  Guillema  de  Benauges 
With  her  courteous,  loving  words. 


Gaucelm,  I've  argued  in  such  degree 
That  both  of  you  are  outside,  and  I 
Sustained.  I  know  a  heart  so  good 
In  which  the  judgment  may  be  put, 
I've  more  gain  there  than  any  three. 



I  Am  an  Enemy  to  Trickery  and  Pride 
Tostemfs  azir  falsetat  et  enian 

I  am  an  enemy  to  trickery  and  pride 

and  try  to  live  avoiding  moral  taint, 

for  when  I  know  that  I  have  virtue  on  my  side, 

then  all  is  well  and  I  have  no  complaint. 

Some  men  we  see  who  know  not  right 

and  put  the  truth  and  faithfulness  to  flight, 

but  he  who  rises  using  such  deceit 

will  fall  from  his  ascent  in  hard  defeat. 

The  rich  man  shows  the  others  such  regard 
as  Cain  showed  Abel  when  he  left  him  dead; 

78  Provence 

they  rob  like  wolves  robbing  a  farmer's  yard 

and  tell  more  lies  than  prostitutes  in  bed. 

If  you  would  pierce  them  here  and  there,  no  doubt 

you  would  not  find  the  truth  come  pouring  out, 

but  lies,  which  in  their  hearts  such  flood  tides  bring, 

they  overflow  like  water  from  a  spring. 

Many  barons  make  the  world  believe 

their  merit,  though  they're  as  false  as  glass  rings, 

and  those  who  call  them  noble  men  deceive 

you  like  the  man  who  sells  an  ass  that  sings. 

They  are  not  genuine  by  law  nor  weight. 

Like  false  coins  they  hold  their  rate : 

although  they  carry  cross  and  crown, 

they'd  show  no  gold  if  they  were  melted  down. 

I  have  a  bargain,  if  everyone  will  grant 

it,  from  the  Orient  to  the  end  of  the  sun's  trail : 

to  every  faithful  man  I'll  give  one  bezant, 

if  every  traitor  lets  me  have  a  nail. 

I'll  hand  out  golden  coins  among  the  brave, 

if  I  may  have  one  copper  from  every  knave. 

I'll  give  a  pile  of  gold  to  every  honest  man, 

if  every  liar  puts  an  egg  in  my  pan. 

All  the  law  that  most  men  ever  heard  of 
I  can  write  upon  a  piece  of  parchment  big 
enough  to  fit  in  half  a  finger  of  my  glove. 
I  could  feed  all  men  of  merit  with  one  fig: 
food  for  the  worthy  will  never  be  in  need, 
although  it  may  be  so  when  villains  feed. 
If  you  would  call,  "You  honest  men,  come  eat," 
I  do  not  think  a  man  could  leave  his  seat. 

He  who  calls  himself  a  noble  knight 
and  lives  ignobly,  should  never  hear  the  name. 
He  is  no  Justice  who  doesn't  care  for  right; 
he  is  not  honest  who  tells  no  truth.  A  shame 
to  reason  is  that  men  of  wicked  wavs 

Peire  Cardenal  79 

gather  gratitude  and  fame  and  praise. 

On  palace  walls  this  saw  we  should  engrave: 

Who  flayed  you  once,  the  next  time  will  not  shave. 

My  verses  and  I  warn  you  in  palace  and  city 
that,  if  with  righteousness  and  truth  and  pity 
man  does  not  rule  himself  in  earth's  domain, 
not  here  nor  later  will  courage  hide  his  pain. 


Once  on  a  Certain  Nameless  Town 
Una  ciutatz  fo,  no  sai  cats 

Once  on  a  certain  nameless  town 
A  heavy  rain  came  pelting  down, 
A  very  special  kind  of  rain 
For  all  it  touched  became  insane. 
Save  for  one  man  they  all  went  crazy 
But  he,  tired  out  or  maybe  lazy, 
Was  in  his  house  serenely  snoring 
What  time  the  magic  rain  was  pouring. 

The  shower  had  ceased  when  he  awoke; 
He  went  forth  and  beheld  the  folk 
Behaving  in  the  maddest  fashion 
And  giving  vent  to  eveTy  passion. 
Some  wore  their  winter  underwear, 
Some  waltzed  about  completely  bare; 
Some  tore  their  clothes  as  he  went  by, 
Others  were  spitting  at  the  sky. 
Some  were  hitting,  punching,  stabbing 
Their  dearest  friends  and  others  grabbing 
Sticks  and  stones  which  then  they'd  fling 
Not  aiming  them  at  anything. 
One  hurdles  benches,  one  assumes 
A  regal  stance,  another  fumes 

8o  Provence 

And  mutters  incoherent  speech : 

Some  curse,  some  blaspheme  and  some  preach. 

Now  he  whose  wits  are  whole  and  sound 
In  fear  and  wonder  looks  around 
Hoping  to  find  one  friend  still  sane, 
But  hope  and  anxious  search  are  vain. 
He  looks  on  them  with  troubled  gaze 
But  greater  still  is  their  amaze. 
They  mark  his  sober  attitude, 
His  modest  manner,  and  conclude, 
Since  he  is  different  from  the  rest, 
He  must  be  mad.  And  so  with  zest 
They  fall  upon  him,  rip  his  coat 
And  try  to  seize  him  by  the  throat. 
They  shove  and  slap  and  pummel  him, 
Threaten  to  tear  him  limb  from  limb. 
He  struggles,  falls,  gets  up,  breaks  free 
And  strains  his  aching  legs  to  flee; 
With  tattered  garments,  bloody  head, 
At  last  he  staggers  home,  nigh  dead. 

'Tis  of  this  world  my  tale  is  telling 

And  of  the  people  therein  dwelling: 

Our  world,  with  which  we're  so  contented, 

Is  the  town  of  the  demented, 

For  mark,  the  truly  wise  'tis  clear 

Will  honor  God  and  so  revere 

His  holy  law,  but  to  our  cost 

That  wholesome  simple  wit  is  lost. 

A  rain  of  greed  and  avarice 

Has  nourished  pride  and  wickedness 

And  led  the  whole  wide  world  astray 

And  none  will  follow  on  God's  way. 

If  one  should  cling  to  our  Lord's  school 
His  neighbors  would  dub  him  a  fool, 
Deride  him,  scoff  at  him,  mistreat  him, 
Persecute  him,  starve  him,  beat  him. 

Peire  Cardenal  81 

Because,  not  being  like  the  rest, 
They'd  judge  he  must  be  mad,  at  best. 
God's  wisdom's  folly,  they  well  know, 
And  his  liegemen  in  madness  go, 
Wherefore  they  must  be  hunted  down 
And  taught  the  wisdom  of  the  town. 
A  world  deranged  cannot  permit 
God's  sanity  to  thrive  in  it. 


Priests  Disguise  as  Shepherds 

Li  clerc  si  fan  fastor 

Priests  disguise  as  shepherds 

And  are  murderers; 

And  falsify  great  sanctity 

In  priestly  garb 

Which  brings  to  mind 

How  Master  Fox,  one  day, 

Planned  to  raid  the  fold: 

But  fearing  dogs 

He  wore  a  wooly  fleece 

Thanks  to  which  he  fooled  them, 

Then  ate  and  swallowed 

Everything  he  pleased. 

Kings  and  emperors, 

Dukes,  counts,  and  lesser  men, 

And  with  them,  knights, 

Were  rulers  of  the  world; 

Now  I  see  their  property 

In  priestly  mastery 

With  theft  and  treason, 

And  with  hypocrisy, 

With  violence  and  preaching; 

Nor  can  they  bear  it 

82  Provence 

When  all's  not  left  to  them 

And  so  it  goes,  however  long  it  takes. 

The  greater  they  are 

The  less  their  worth 

The  greater  the  folly 

The  less  plain  truth 

The  greater  the  lies 

The  less  loyal  friends, 

The  greater  the  breach 

The  less  the  priestliness. 

Of  false  priests,  I  must  say  this: 

IVe  never  heard  of  any 

Worse  enemies  of  God 

Since  ancient  times. 

When  I'm  in  a  refectory 
I  don't  think  it's  an  honor, 
For  at  the  highest  table 
I  see  great  rascals  sit 
And  take  their  pottage  first. 
Listen  to  this  villainy: 
For  still  they  dare  to  come 
And  none  turns  them  away. 
Yet  I've  never  seen  a  beggar 
Beside  such  wealthy  hosts: 
Of  that  much  I'll  excuse  them. 

Let  chiefs  or  sultans 

Never  fear 

That  priors  or  abbots 

Will  assail  them 

Or  start  to  grab  their  lands, 

For  that  would  be  hard  work. 

But  here  they  try  to  find 

How  to  make  the  world  their  own 

And  how  to  pry 

Lord  Frederick  from  his  refuge 

Peire  Cardenal  83 

But  that  attack 

Did  not  give  cause  for  joy! 

Priests,  whoever  said 
Your  heart's  no  wicked  traitor 
Mistook  his  calculations 
For  no  one's  worse  than  you. 




Toward  the  year  noo  there  appeared  in  Provence,  in  Southern 
France,  a  subjective  lyrical  utterance  which  imposed  its  unique 
character  on  all  the  poetry  of  medieval  Christian  Europe. 
Written  in  a  vernacular  language — the  Romanic  Languedoc — 
it  was  a  coherent,  cultivated  expression,  from  writers  who  re- 
vealed distinct  personalities  and  who  seemed  to  be  no  longer 
fettered  to  the  world  of  folklore  or  to  the  storytelling  tradition 
of  an  earlier  period. 

Provencal  poetry  came  to  its  greatest  fruition  during  a  half- 
century  (1162-1213)  and  derived  its  inspiration  from  courtly 
love  and  feudal  manners.  The  poetic  forms  created  and  de- 
veloped were  the  canso,  for  the  expression  of  erotic  sentiments; 
the  sirventes,  for  personal  and  political  attacks,  and  for  moral- 
izing; the  planh,  for  lamenting  the  death  of  some  personage; 
the  tenso,  for  debating,  generally  about  love;  when  more  than 
two  poets  participate,  the  debate  is  called  partimen  or  joe 
partit.  The  alba  (the  same  as  the  anbe  of  Northern  France  and 
the  Tagelied  of  Germany)  was  a  dawn-song  depicting  the  un- 
happiness  of  lovers  who,  after  spending  the  night  together, 
must  separate  at  dawn.  Finally,  the  pastorela,  so  ubiquitous  dur- 
ing the  Middle  Ages — it  was  variously  called  serranilla  in 
Spain,  serrana  in  Galicia-Portugal,  and  pastourelle  in  Northern 
France — charmingly  presented  a  gentleman,  generally  the  poet 
himself,  wooing  a  shepherdess  who,  after  a  lively  dialogue, 
either  accepted  his  advances  or  sent  him  away. 

beatritz  de  dia  (fl  1160),  la  Comtessa  de  Dia,  is 
the  most  significant  trohairitz,  or  lady-troubadour.  The  object 
ol  her  love  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  arrogant  lady-killer 
Raimbaut  d'AuTenga  (q.v.),  a  maker  of  intricate  verse,  and 
among  her  works  is  a  tenso,  or  debate  song,  with  him.  Her  few 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  85 

songs,  about  five,  are  striking  in  their  utter  frankness  and  the 
devotion  they  express  to  the  passion  of  love — whether  the 
passion  is  biographical  or  literary  fiction. 

BERN ART     DE     VENTADORN   (fl.    II50-I180),    the  Son   of 

an  ovener  in  the  castle  of  Ebles  II  of  Ventadour,  was  one  of  the 
first  poets  to  formulate  the  convention  of  courtly  love.  His 
satire,  "Friend  Bernard  de  Ventadorn"  presents  a  cynical  atti- 
tude toward  love  that  is  contradicted  by  his  delicate  lyrics. 
After  quarreling  with  Ebles  III,  Bernart  sojourned  in  the  court 
of  King  Henry  II  of  England  and  Eleanor  of  Aquitaine.  Later 
he  was  protected  by  Count  Raimon  V  of  Toulouse  and  entered 
the  monastery  of  Dalon  after  Raimon's  death.  The  number  of 
his  surviving  poems,  about  forty-five,  attests  to  his  popularity. 

bertran  de  born  (fl.  1180),  a  turbulent  Baron  born 
at  the  castle  of  Hautefort,  loved  schism  and  warfare,  fighting 
as  savagely  against  his  own  brother  and  neighbors  as  against 
Henry  II  of  England  and  Richard  the  Lion-Hearted.  Bertran's 
quarrelsome  nature  is  reflected  in  fiery  sirventes,  but  he  also 
wrote  an  elegiac  planh  or  lament,  "If  All  the  Grief  and  Sorrow, 
the  Strife/'  on  the  death  of  the  young  Henry  "del  Curt  Man- 
tel,'' and  a  few  love  lyrics — some  forty  poems  in  all  which 
prove  him  to  be  one  of  the  outstanding  and  most  original  poets 
of  medieval  Europe. 

cercamon  (c.  1 100-1 1 52)  was  a  native  of  Gascony  but 
apparently  traveled  widely  as  a  jongleur  or  minstrel.  He  is 
said  to  have  received  his  name  from  the  fact  that  "he  sought 
out  the  whole  world  [e  cerquet  tot  lo  man]  wherever  he  could 
go."  "With  Mournful  Tones  My  Verses  Start,"  a  lament  on 
planh  for  the  death  of  William  X  (April  9,  n  37)  has  a  rhyme 
repetition  with  a  dirge-like  effect,  suggesting  the  chanting  of 
mourners  or  the  tolling  of  bells.  Cercamon  has  left  us  eight 
poems,  mostly  love  lyrics,  written  c.  1 1 35-1 145  at  Limousin  and 
Poitevin  courts. 

dal  fin  (d.  1234).  Although  the  anonymous  Vida  regularly 
uses  the  article  with  "Dalfin,"  this  was  the  name  and  not  the 

86  Provence 

title  of  the  Count  of  Clermont  and  Montferrand,  a  patron  of 
many  troubadours  and  a  poet  himself.  Some  ten  poems  are 
attributed  to  him. 

gaucelm  faidit  (fl.  n  85-1 21 5),  a  native  of  Urzeche, 
lived  as  a  professional  troubadour  in  the  courts  of  Marie  de 
Ventadour  and  other  nobles,  including  Boniface  II  of  Mon- 
ferrat,  Raimbaut  de  Vaqueiras'  protector,  whom  he  followed 
on  the  Fourth  Crusade  (1202).  Addicted  to  good  eating  and 
heavy  drinking,  he  competed  with  his  mistress  in  stoutness, 
sang  in  a  disconcertingly  shrill  voice,  and  constantly  lost  at 
dice.  Among  his  seventy  poems  the  most  memorable  are  a 
plank  on  the  death  of  Richard  the  Lion-Hearted  and  the  tender 
alba  "A  Knight  Was  with  His  Lady  Fondly  Lying." 

giraut  de  bornelh  (c.  1165-1200)  came  from  hum- 
ble parents  in  the  Excideul  region  of  Dordogne,  and  his  poems 
— some  eighty  of  them — show  a  wide  range  in  subject  matter. 
His  prosody,  favoring  precious  complexity  and  artificiality, 
seems  to  have  won  him  the  title  of  "maistre  des  troubadours," 
although,  strangely  enough,  in  a  tenso  or  debate  with  Raim- 
baut d' Aurenga  held  probably  at  Christmas,  1 1 70,  Girault  de- 
fended simplicity  of  expression.  His  alba,  "Heavenly  King, 
Glorious  God  of  Light,"  is  one  of  the  finest  medieval  poems. 
The  first  six  stanzas  are  recited  by  the  watchman,  a  friend  of 
the  lover,  and  in  the  last  stanza  (of  questionable  authenticity) 
the  lover  replies. 

guilhem  de  cabestanh  (c.  1190-1212)  is  remem- 
bered for  the  legend  of  the  coeur  mange  rather  than  for  his 
nine  or  ten  lyrics.  "Guilhem  de  Cabestanh,"  reads  his  Vida, 
"was  a  knight  from  the  country  of  Roussillon  which  borders 
on  Catalonia  and  Narbonne.  He  was  quite  as  handsome  as  he 
was  renowned  in  arms  and  chivalry.  And  there  lived  in  his 
country  a  lady  named  Soremonda,  wife  of  Raimon  of  Castel 
Roussillon,  a  rich  and  noble  knight  who  was  cruel  and  fierce  and 
base.  Guilhem  de  Cabestanh  fell  madly  in  love  with  Soremonda 
and  made  songs  for  her  and  she  was  young  and  beautiful  and 
gay  and  loved  him  better  than   anything  on  earth.   And   so 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  87 

Raimon  was  told  by  gossips  and  he,  jealous  and  wrathful, 
looked  into  the  matter  and  finding  it  was  true,  set  watch  upon 
his  wife.  And  one  day  Raimon  found  Guilhem  a-hawking  and 
killed  him  and  ripped  his  heart  out  of  his  body  and  had  it 
carried  to  be  roasted  and  seasoned  with  pepper  and  set  before 
his  wife  to  eat.  And  when  the  lady  had  eaten  it,  Raimon  told 
her  what  she  had  eaten.  When  she  heard,  she  fell  into  a 
swoon  and  on  recovering,  she  said:  'My  lord,  you  have  given 
me  such  good  meal  that  I  shall  never  touch  any  other.'  On 
hearing  this,  he  ran  upon  her  with  his  sword  and  would  have 
split  open  her  head,  but  she  ran  to  a  balcony  and  cast  herself 
down,  and  so  died."  Among  Guilhem  de  Cabestanh's  admirers 
are  to  be  counted  Petrarch  and  Stendhal. 

jaufre  rudel(A.  i  1 48),  Prince  of  Blave,  in  Saintonge, 
on  the  Garonne,  is  best  known  for  the  legend  that  probably 
was  fabricated  from  his  references  to  a  far-away  love.  He  is 
said  to  have  fallen  in  love  with  a  countess  of  Tripoli  merely 
from  reports  of  her.  In  order  to  see  her,  he  joined  a  crusade, 
but  he  fell  ill  on  the  way.  His  countess  came  to  him,  he  died 
in  her  arms,  and  she,  in  her  grief,  became  a  nun.  Jaufre's 
charming  song,  "When  Days  Grow  Long  in  May,"  so  sweetly 
melancholy  and  so  suggestive  of  a  far-away  love  (the  word 
lonh  recurs  several  times  in  each  stanza),  helped  to  inspire  the 
legend,  so  dear  to  Petrarch,  Heine,  Browning  and  the  Edmond 
Rostand  of  The  Tar- Away  Princess. 

marcabru  (fl.  1 1 29- 1 1 50),  a  foundling  from  Gascony,  was 
brought  up  by  Sir  Aldric  d'Auvillars  and  trained  in  the  art  of 
poetry  by  Cercamon.  He  was  hostile  to  women  and  love,  and 
"much  feared  for  his  tongue,"  and  was  murdered  by  the  cas- 
tellans of  Guienne  "of  whom  he  had  spoken  great  ill."  Among 
the  forty-five  pieces  he  has  left  us  are  to  be  found  sprightly 
pastourelles,  a  charming  romance  relating  to  the  crusade  of 
1 1 47 — introducing  for  the  first  time  the  theme  of  a  maid  for- 
saken by  her  lover  for  the  Cross — and,  above  all,  mordant 
poems  exposing  the  moral  turpitude  of  his  age.  In  Marcabrun, 
Raymond  Guthrie  had  dramatized  the  poet's  life. 

88  Provence 

the  monk  of  montaudun(c.  ii  80-121 5).  Because 
he  became  the  Prior  of  Vic,  although  rarely  to  be  found  in 
that  village,  this  vagrant  monk  enjoyed  the  patronage  of  Rich- 
ard I  of  England  and  Alfonso  II  of  Aragon,  and  was  known 
as  Peire  de  Vic  and  Lo  Monge  de  Montaudun  (The  Monk  of 
Montaudun).  His  colorful  work  comprises  slanderous  sketches 
of  contemporary  troubadours,  tensos  with  God  or  between  Saints 
—one  of  these  debates  is  on  whether  women  should  use  make- 
up)— and,  finally,  enumerations  of  enuegs,  i.e.,  pet  aversions  or 
annoyances,  and  plazers,  i.e.,  delights,  which  reveal  the  man- 
ners and  intimate  customs  of  his  period. 

peire  cardenal  (c.  1225-1272)  was  the  best  of  the 
troubadours  who  in  the  thirteenth  century  expressed  the  politi- 
cal and  religious  tensions  that  led  to  the  Albigensian  crusade. 
His  sirventes,  or  satiric  songs,  are  witty,  earthy,  and  vigorous, 
especially  in  attacks  against  venal  clergy  and  generally  un- 
scrupulous nobility.  However,  he  sometimes  combines  racy 
satire  with  an  eloquent  sense  of  piety  in  a  manner  similar  to 
that  of  Villon.  One  of  his  best  songs  is  a  simple  prayer  to  the 
Virgin.  Texts  of  about  seventy  of  his  songs  are  extant. 

peire  vidal  (1 175-1205),  son  of  a  furrier  of  Toulouse, 
served  Raimon  V,  Alfonso  II  of  Aragon,  Alfonso  VIII  of  Cas- 
tile and  several  Italian  lords.  Dressed  in  a  wolf-skin  to  court 
his  lady  love,  his  Loba  de  Paugnautier,  he  was  attacked  by 
dogs.  Later  he  married  in  Cyprus  the  granddaughter  of  the 
Emperor  of  Constantinople  and  traveled  with  an  imperial 
throne  among  his  baggage,  calling  himself  Emperor — in  short, 
he  led  a  life  filled  with  picturesque  and  not-too-credible  hap- 
penings, quite  proper  for  a  romantic  novel.  (See  Cronin's 
The  Fool  of  Venus.*)  Peire  Vidal's  fifty  odd  poems  evidence 
extraordinary  verve  and  originality,  a  felicitous  fusion  of  real- 
ism and  fantasy.  From  his  song  "When  I  Breathe  This  Air" 
emanates  a  genuine  feeling  for  Provence;  his  "I  Put  an  End 
to  Singing"  is  also  unique  as  a  love  song:  it  praises  three  ladies 
and  complains  of  a  fourth. 

peirol  ( 1 160-1225)  was  an  impoverished  knight  of  Au- 
vergne,   taking  his  name  from  a  castle  called  Peirol   in   the 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  89 

country  of  the  Dauphin,  at  the  foot  of  Roquefort.  He  was  a 
courteous  man  whom  the  Dauphin  of  Auvergne  kept  in  his 
household,  clothed,  and  gave  him  horses  and  arms.  The  Dau- 
phin had  a  sister  called  Sail  de  Claustra  (Out  of  a  Cloister), 
fair,  kind,  and  highly  esteemed;  she  was  the  wife  of  a  great 
baron  of  Auvergne,  Lord  Beraut  of  Mercoeur.  Peirol  loved 
her  with  true  love  and  the  Dauphin  interceded  for  him;  he 
was  pleased  with  the  songs  that  Peirol  made  for  his  sister  and 
persuaded  her  to  be  pleased  with  them  likewise;  so  much  so, 
that  the  lady,  to  her  brother's  knowledge,  reciprocated  the  poet's 
affection  and  yielded  him  the  pleasures  of  love.  But  this  love 
reached  such  a  height  that  the  Dauphin  became  jealous  on  his 
sister's  behalf,  thinking  that  she  was  conceding  more  than  was 
becoming  to  her,  and  so  he  dismissed  Peirol  and  sent  him  into 
exile  and  ceased  to  provide  him  with  clothing  and  arms.  Peirol 
could  no  longer  maintain  himself  as  a  knight  and  went  forth 
among  the  courts  as  a  jongleur;  the  barons  rewarded  him  with 
clothing  and  money  and  horses — thus  goes  the  Provencal 
Vida.  We  may  add  that  Peirol  was  born  about  1160  and  died 
about  1225;  that  his  wanderings  included  a  trip  to  the  Holy 
Land  (1221)  and  some  residence  in  Italy.  S.  C.  Aston's  edition 
of  Peirol's  works  (Cambridge,  1953)  contains  thirty-four 
poems,  two  of  doubtful  attribution. 

raimbaut  d'aurenga(c.  11 50-1 173),  was  the  Count 
of  Orange,  object  of  Beatritz  de  Dia's  love  and  poetic  inspira- 
tion. He  cultivated  the  trobar  He,  full  of  subtleness  and  her- 
metic preciosity:  the  forty  poems  he  has  left  us  are  shot  through 
with  recondite  imagery  and  ambiguity  and  show  him  to  be  a 
virtuoso,  rather  artificial  and  cold. 

RAIMBAUT     DE     V  A  Q  U  E  I  R  A  S   (c.    I  I55-I205),   SOn   of  an 

impoverished  Provencal  knight,  spent  much  of  his  time  in 
Italy,  mostly  in  the  court  of  Boniface  II  of  Monferrand,  whom 
he  accompanied  on  the  Fourth  Crusade  (1202).  From  the 
forty  poems  extant  can  be  seen  his  wide  range:  the  technical 
ability  in  the  estampida  "Kalenda  maya";  the  charming  tenso 
or  debate  in  which  the  Italian  girl  replies  to  him  in  Genoese; 
the  plank  "High  Waves  That  Ride  the  Sea,"  a  Provencal  adap- 
tation of  the  delightful  Galician-Portuguese  cantiga  do  amigo 

90  Provence 

"Oy,  aura  dolza,  qui  vens  deves  lai,"  which  has  been  attributed 
to  him,  for  it  is  assumed  that  his  wanderings  took  him  as  far 
as  Galicia. 

richart  de  berbezilh  (c.  ii 80-1 207),  a  native  of 
Saintonge,  enjoyed  the  patronage  of  Marie  of  Champagne  and 
Diego  Lopez  de  Haro,  Lord  of  Vizcay.  His  ten  extant  poems 
are  distinguished  for  their  lucid  expressions  of  courtly  love 
motifs,  colored  by  witty  animal  metaphors  drawn  from  medieval 
bestiaries.  As  for  his  song  "You  See  Me  like  the  Elephant,"  the 
poet,  tired  by  long,  unrequited  love  service,  is  said  to  have  suc- 
cumbed to  an  invitation  from  a  neighboring  lady,  who  promised 
to  grant  all  his  desires.  He  took  leave  of  his  first  mistress,  but 
when  he  addressed  himself  to  the  second,  she  upbraided  him 
for  his  faithlessness  to  the  first.  He  then  returned  to  the  first 
lady,  "the  saddest  man  in  the  world."  After  much  begging  for 
mercy,  partly  with  the  song,  but  then  only  on  the  strength  of 
a  stipulated  appeal  from  one  hundred  knights  and  one  hundred 
ladies,  he  was  pardoned. 

SAVARIC     DE     MAULEON      (c.      I20O-I232),      a     powerful 

baron  of  Poitiers,  handsome  and  generous,  took  part  in  tourna- 
ments, courted  the  ladies,  and  composed  songs.  He  waged  war 
against  the  King  of  France  and  was  rewarded  by  John,  King 
of  England,  with  an  English  peerage.  The  partimen,  or  de- 
bate, here  included,  a  fine  piece  of  medieval  casuistry,  concerns 
a  lady  who  had  three  suitors:  she  gives  one  an  amorous  glance; 
another,  a  squeeze  of  the  hand;  and  presses  the  foot  of  the 
third — Savaric  calls  his  friends  Gaucelm  Faidit  [q.v.]  and 
asks  them  to  decide  who  is  the  most  favored  of  the  lady's 

uc  de  la  bacalaria  (c.  1 200-1 232),  jongleur  from 
Bacalaria  or  Bachelerie,  near  Urzeche,  "of  litde  worth  and 
little  travel/'  according  to  his  contemporaries,  left  us  at  least 
six  pieces  which  indicate  a  great  deal  of  refinement  and  good 

WILLIAM     IX,     COUNT     OF     POITIERS      (1071-II27), 

the  earliest  Provencal  troubadour,  was  the  seventh  Count  of 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  91 

Poitou  and  ninth  Duke  of  Aquitaine.  Owning  more  land  than 
the  King  of  France,  he  waged  constant  wars  to  enlarge  his 
possessions,  attacked  Church  property,  undertook  a  disastrous 
crusade  in  11 01,  helped  to  defeat  the  Spanish  Moors,  and 
was  several  times  excommunicated  for  his  riotous  living.  At  the 
end  of  his  life,  he  left  his  domains  in  a  precarious  position. 
Bearing  the  stamp  of  his  personality,  his  poems  combine  deli- 
cacy with  sensuality. 


Anonymous  (IXth  century)  Translated  by 

The  Sequence  of  Saint  Eulalia  99 

La  Cantilene  de  Sainte  Eulalie        Charles  Maxwell  Lancaster 

Anonymous  (XII th  century) 
Malady,  Death  and  Resurrection  of  Saint  Lazarus  ioo 

Maladie,  mort  et  resurrection  de  Saint  Lazare         Daisy  Aldan 

Spinning  Songs  [Chansons  de  Toile] 

When  It  Is  May  and  the  Darkness  Is  Short  101 

Quant  vient  en  mai  que  Von  dit  as  Ions  jors  Patricia  Terry 

Fair  Aye  Sits  at  Her  Cruel  Lady's  Feet  102 

Siet  soi  hele  Aye  as  piez  sa  male  maistre  Jacques  LeClercq 

On  Saturday  Evening,  the  Week  at  an  End  102 

Lou  samedi  a  soir  fait  la  semaine  Patricia  Terry 

By  Water's  Edge  Sing  Sisters  Three  104 

Trois  sereurs  seur  rive  mer  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Song  of  the  Ill-Married  [Chanson  de  Mal-Mariee] 

In  an  Orchard  a  Little  Fountain  Flows  104 

En  un  vergier  lez  une  fontenele  Patricia  Terry 

Workers'  Songs  [Chansons  des  Laboureurs] 

Poem  of  a  Glass  Blower  105 

Poeme  du  souffleur  de  verre  Daisy  Aldan 

94  Northern  France 

Sounds  of  the  Trades  1 06 

Bruits  de  metiers  Daisy  Aldan 

Why  Do  We  Let  Them  Oppress  Us?  107 

Pourquoi  nous  laisser  faire  dommage?  Daisy  Aldan 

By  the  Sweat  of  My  Brow  I  Toiled  107 

A  la  sueur  de  mon  visage  Daisy  Aldan 

Chretien  de  Troyes  (c.  113 5- 11 90) 
From  Yvain  [Yvain  ou  le  Chevalier  au  Lion] 
(lines  5,298-5,327) 

Complaint  of  the  Weavers  108 

Complainte  des  tisseuses  de  soie  Daisy  Aldan 

Marie  de  France  (fl.  1181-1216) 
The  Laustic  1 09 

Le  Laustic  Charles  E.  Passage 

Richard  the  Lion-He arted 
[Richard  Coeur  de  Lion]  (1157-1199) 
In  No  Way  Can  a  Prisoner  Reveal  114 

]a  nus  hons  pris  ne  diva  sa  reson  Patricia  Terry 

Le  Chastelain  de  Coucy  (d.  1203) 
The  Sweet  Voice  of  the  Woodland  Nightingale  115 

La  dolce  voix  del  rosignol  sauvage  Patricia  Terry 

CONON  DE  BETHUNE    (d.    1220) 

If  This  Insensate  Rage  116 

La  rage  et  derverie  Patricia  Terry 

Anonymous  (XHIth  century) 
The  Circumcision  of  Our  Lord  1 J  8 

La  Circoncision  du  Seigneur  Daisy  Aldan 

May  I  Sing  to  You?  122 

Voulez-vous  que  je  vous  chante?  Muriel  Kittel 

Guiot  de  Dijon  (fl.  1220) 
I  Will  Sing  and  So  Relieve  123 

Chanterai  por  mon  corage  Patricia  Terry 

Gace  Brule  (c.   1179-1212) 
Most  Hateful  Is  It  to  My  Eyes  125 

Cant  voi  Vaube  dou  jor  venir  Patricia  Terry 

Northern  France  95 


Romance  of  the  Rose  [lines  45-128]  126 

Le  Roman  de  la  Rose  Charles  Dahlberg 

Jean  de  Meun  (c.  1240-1305) 
Romance  of  the  Rose  [lines  13,265-13,724]  128 

Le  Roman  de  la  Rose  Charles  Dahlberg 

Colin  Muset  (after  1234) 

My  Lord,  Although  I  Strum  and  Sing  138 

Sire  cuens,  j'ai  viele  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Rutebeuf  (c.  1225-1280) 
His  Poverty  14® 

La  Pauvrete  James  Edward  Tobin 

His  Repentance  141 

La  Repentance  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

The  Dispute  of  Chariot  and  the  Barber  144 

La  Desputoison  de  Chariot  et  du  Barhier         William  M.  Davis 
To  the  Virgin  147 

De  la  Chanson  de  Nostre  Dame  James  Edward  Tobin 

Adam  de  La  Halle  (c.  1 240-1 288) 
So  Much  the  More  as  I  Draw  near  My  Land  147 

De  tant  com  plus  approime  mon  pais  Irma  Brandeis 

To  All  My  Dainty  Loves,  Goodbye  148 

A  Dieu  comant  amourettes  Irma  Brandeis 

All  Too  Much  I  Long  to  See  149 

Trop  desir  a  voir  Irma  Brandeis 

Love  and  My  Lady,  Too  149 

Amours  et  ma  Dame  aussi  Irma  Brandeis 

Jacob  Bar  Juda,  Hazak  (fl.  1288) 
Sorely  Tried  Is  Israel,  the  Hapless  Folk  149 

Mout  sont  a  mecchief  lsr[ael],  Veegaree  gent 

William  M.  Davis 

GUILLAUME  DE  MACHAUT   (c.    I292-I377) 
As  Lilies  White,  More  Crimson  Than  the  Rose  152 

Blanche  com  lys,  plus  que  rose  vermeille  Dwight  Durling 

If  I  Must  Feel  Your  Wrath  Eternally  152. 

Se  vos  courrous  me  dure  longuement  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Rich  in  Love  and  Beggar  to  My  Heart  153 

Riches  d' amour  et  mendians  d'amie  William  M.  Davis 

96  Northern  France 

I  Curse  the  Hour,  the  Moment  and  the  Day  1 54 

Je  maudis  I'eure  et  le  temps  et  le  jour  Jacques  LeClercq 

Strike  Down  My  Heart  with  But  a  Single  Blow  1 54 

Faites  mon  cuer  tout  a  un  coup  tnorir  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Milady,  Comely,  Candid,  Worldly- Wise  155 

Douce  dame,  cointe,  apperte  et  jolie  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Open  Your  Eyes,  Milady,  Run  Me  Through  i55 

Partues  moy  a  Vouvrir  de  vos  yeux  Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Ah!  How  I  Fear,  Milady,  Lest  I  Die  156 

De  morir  sui  pour  vous  en  grant  paour         Norman  R.  Shapiro 

Jean  Froissart  (1337-1410) 
Be  Gallant,  Mannerlie  and  Pure  of  Heart  156 

Axes  le  coer  courtois  et  honnourable  Jacques  LeClercq 

O  Love,  O  Love,  What  Wouldst  Thou  Make  of  Me?  1 57 

Amours,  Amours,  que  voles  de  mot  faire?         Jacques  LeClercq 
Of  All  Known  Flowers,  Men  Hold  the  Rose  Most  Rare  157 

Sus  toutes  fleurs  tient  on  la  rose  a  belle  Jacques  LeClercq 

Agnes  de  Navarre  Champagne 
(XIV th  century) 
Lover,  as  God  May  Comfort  Me  158 

Amy  si  Dieu  me  confort  Jacques  LeClercq 

Without  My  Heart,  Love,  Thou  Shalt  Not  Depart  158 

Sans  coeur  de  my  pas  vous  ne  partirez  Jacques  LeClercq 


One  Day  the  Rats  of  All  Degrees  1 59 

Je  treuve  qu'entre  les  souris  Jacques  LeClercq 

But  Is  There  No  Flower,  Perfume  or  Violet?  160 

Or,  nest-il  fleur,  odeur  ne  violete?  Muriel  Kittel 

Am  I,  Am  I,  Am  I  Fair?  161 

Suis-je,  suis-je,  suis-je  belle?  Muriel  Kittel 

Christine  de  Pisan  (1 364-1 430) 
Ye  Gods!  of  Time  I  Am  Weary  163 

He  Dieux!  que  le  temps  m'anuyel  Muriel  Kittel 

You  Have  Done  So  Much  by  Your  Great  Gentleness  164 

Tant  avez  fait  par  votre  grant  doulgor  Muriel  Kittel 

Alone  Am  I,  Alone  I  Wish  to  Be  165 

Seulette  suis,  et  seulette  veuil  estre  Muriel  Kittel 

Now  Has  Come  the  Gracious  Month  of  May  166 

Or  est  venu  le  tres  gracieux  mois  Muriel  Kittel 

Northern  France 


Ah  Moon,  You  Shine  Too  Long 

He,  lune  trop  luis  longuement 
Sweet  Lady  Fair 

Plaisant  et  belle 
Alone  in  Martyrdom  I  Have  Been  Left 

Seulete  m'a  laissie  en  grant  martyr e 
To  Sing  with  Joy  from  out  a  Sorrowing  Heart 

De  triste  cuer  chanter  joyeusement 
I  Will  No  Longer  Serve  You 

Je  ne  te  veuil  plus  servir 
The  Gods  and  Goddesses,  Those  Great 

Jadis  par  amours  amoient 
If  I'm  in  Church  More  Often  Now 

Se  souvent  vais  au  moustier 
My  Heart  Is  Captive  to  Gray,  Laughing  Eyes 

Rians  vairs  yeulx  qui  mon  cuer  aves  pris    James  Edward  Tobin 

Muriel  Kittel 
Muriel  Kittel 
Muriel  Kittel 
Muriel  Kittel 
Muriel  Kittel 
Dwight  Durling 
Dwight  Durling 

Alain  Chartier  (c.  i 390-1 440) 
Most  Foolish  Fools,  Oh  Foolish  Mortal  Men 

O  folz  des  folz,  et  les  folz  mortels  hommes  Muriel  Kittel 

Almighty  God,  Who  Made  the  Noble  State 

Dieu  tout  puissant,  de  qui  noblesse  vient  James  Edward  Tobin 

Charles  d'Orleans   (c.    1 394-1465) 
News  Has  Been  Spread  in  France  Concerning  Me 

Nouvelles  ont  couru  en  France 
Pray  for  Peace,  Oh  Gentle  Virgin  Mary 

Pries  pour  paix,  doulce  Vierge  Marie 
Summer  Has  Sent  His  Minions  on 

Les  \ourriers  d'Este  sont  venus 
Away  with  You!  Begone!  Begone! 

Ales  vous  ant,  ales,  ales 
Lovers,  Beware  the  Dart  That  Flies 

Gardez  le  trait  de  la  fenestre 
The  Weather  Has  Laid  Aside  His  Cloak 

Le  temps  a  laissie  son  manteau 
While  We  Watch  These  Flowers  Fair 

En  regardant  ces  belles  fleurs 
In  the  Book  of  My  Thought 

Dedens  mon  livre  de  pensee 
Come,  Let  Us  Taste  Delight 

Alons  nous  esbatre 

Jacques  LeClercq 

Muriel  Kittel 

Dwight  Durling 

Dwight  Durling 

Muriel  Kittel 

Muriel  Kittel 

Muriel  Kittel 

Muriel  Kittel 

Muriel  Kittel 







Northern  France 

I  Love  Him  Who  Loves  Me,  Otherwise  None  181 

J'ayme  qui  m'ayme,  autrement  non  Muriel  Kittel 

Who's  There,  My  Heart?— It  Is  We,  Your  Eyes  182 

Cueur,  qu'est-ce  Ja?—Ce  sommes-nous  voz  yeux  Muriel  Kittel 
Ah,  God,  Who  Made  Her  Good  to  See  1 82 

Dieu,  qui  la  fait  bon  regarder  James  Edward  Tobin 

Winter,  You  Are  Merely  a  Churl  183 

Yver,  vous  n'estes  qu'un  vilain  Muriel  Kittel 

Francois  Villon  (1 431 -after  1463) 

I  Am  Francois,  to  My  Dismay  184 

Je  suis  Francois,  dont  il  me  'poise  Harvey  Birenbaum 

The  Belle  Heaulmiere  to  the  Daughters  of  Joy  184 

ha  belle  Heaulmiere  aux  fdles  de  joie  Anthony  Bonner 

The  Old  Woman  Laments  the  Days  of  Her  Youth  185 

Les  regrets  de  la  belle  Heaulmiere  Muriel  Kittel 

Ballad  for  Fat  Margot  187 

Ballade  de  la  Grosse  Margot  Muriel  Kittel 

Ballad  of  the  Ladies  of  Olden  Times  1 89 

Ballade  des  Dames  du  Temps  jadis  Ellen  Willis 

Villon's  Epitaph  [The  Ballad  of  the  Hanged]  190 

L'Epitaphe  Villon  [Ballade  des  pendus]  Muriel  Kittel 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches 




The  Sequence  of  Saint  Eulalia 
La  Cantilene  de  Sainte  Eulalie 

Good  was  the  girl  Eulalia, 

Fair-formed,  of  soul  far  fairer. 
God's  foemen  strove  to  vanquish  her 

And  make  her  serve  the  Devil. 
She  would  not  heed  their  wicked  rede, 

Forswear  Him  Heaven-dwelling 
For  silver,  finery  or  gold, 

For  royal  threats  or  pleading; 
No  earthly  thing  could  swerve  the  girl 

From  loving  aye  God's  service. 
Hence,  brought  before  Maximian, 

Who  then  was  king  o'er  pagans, 
She,  never  warmed  to  heed,  was  urged 

To  flee  the  name  of  Christian. 
She  gathered  up  her  spirit's  might, 

Liefer  would  writhe  in  torture 
Than  lose  her  maiden  innocence; 

For  this  she  died  in  honor. 
They  threw  her  in  the  fire  to  blaze; 

She  burned  not,  being  sinless. 
The  heathen  king  was  unconvinced; 

He  bade  the  sword  behead  her. 
The  maid  did  not  gainsay  this  doom, 

To  Christ  she  prayed,  world-weary. 
In  shape  of  dove  to  Heaven  she  flew. 

Let  us  beseech  her  succor 
That  Christ  have  mercy  when  we  die 
And  deign  to  let  us  come  Him  nigh 

Through  gracious  loving-kindness. 


ioo  Northern  France 


Malady,  Death  and  Resurrection  of  Saint  Lazarus 

Maladie,  mort  et  resurrection  de  Saint  Lazare 


Death  execrable! 
Death  detestable! 
Death  deplorable! 

Weary,  grieved! 
Since  my  brother  is  dead 

Why  do  I  live? 

My  brother's  burial 

cruel  and  sudden 

is  cause  for  lamenting 

Weary,  grieved! 
Since  my  brother  is  dead 

Why  do  I  live? 

Since  my  brother  is  dead 
I  deny  not  death 
nor  fear  I  death 

Weary,  grieved! 
Since  mv  brother  is  dead 

Why  do  I  live? 

For  my  brother's  dying 
I  renounce  living 
Woe!  Misery  is  mine! 

Weary,  grieved! 
Since  my  brother  is  dead 

Why  do  I  live? 


Spinning  Songs  101 


When  It  Is  May,  and  the  Darkness  Is  Short 
Quant  vient  en  mai  que  Von  dit  as  Ions  jors 

When  it  is  May,  and  the  darkness  is  short, 
The  Frenchmen  of  France  return  from  the  court. 
Passing  in  front  of  Erembor's  door, 
Raymond  is  with  them,  well  in  the  lead, 
but  to  the  lady  he  pays  no  heed, 
O  Raymond,  ami! 

At  the  tower  window  sat  fair  Erembor; 
On  her  lap  silk  thread  of  all  colors  lay. 
Frenchmen  of  France  were  returning  from  court; 
When  she  saw  Raymond  not  looking  her  way, 
Well  knew  the  lady  what  she  should  say. 
O  Raymond,  ami! 

"Raymond,  my  friend,  on  many  a  day 
I've  seen  you  stand  at  my  father's  door 
Grieving  if  I  sent  no  message  your  way." 
"Emperor's  daughter,  the  vows  we  swore 
You've  broken;  our  love  I'll  remember  no  more." 
O  Raymond,  ami! 

"Raymond,  my  lord,  I'll  tell  you  this: 
On  the  relics  of  a  hundred  maids 
I'll  swear  that  I  never  our  love  betraved, 
And  a  hundred  ladies  will  serve  me  for  witness. 
Take  it  for  true,  and  I'll  give  you  a  kiss!" 
O  Raymond,  ami! 

Then  Count  Raymond  climbed  up  the  stair; 
Broad  are  his  shoulders,  narrow  his  waist, 
Curly  and  bright  blond  is  his  hair. 

102  Northern  France 

Never  was  there  so  handsome  a  knight! 
He  saw  Erembor,  and  wept  at  the  sight. 
O  Raymond,  ami! 

Then  Count  Raymond  climbed  up  to  the  tower. 
There  he  sat  down  on  a  bed  trimmed  with  flowers. 
Next  to  him  sat  the  fair  Erembor; 
And  they  went  on  with  their  love  as  before. 
O  Raymond,  ami! 


Fair  Aye  Sits  at  Her  Cruel  Lady's  Feet 
Siet  soi  bele  Aye  as  fiez  sa  male  maistre 

Fair  Aye  sits  at  her  cruel  lady's  feet, 
Upon  her  knees  an  English  damascene 
Whereon  she  sews  in  lovely  filigree — 

Hoi  Hoi  Love  from  a  stranger  realm 

Did  trap  my  heart  and  I  am  overwhelmed. 

Adown  her  cheeks  the  tears  course  hot.  She  grieves 
For  that  she  is  whipped  every  morn  and  eve 
Because  she  loves  a  foreign  knight.  Ah  me! 
Hoi  Ho!  Love  from  a  stranger  realm 
Did  trap  my  heart  and  1  am  overwhelmed. 


On  Saturday  Evening,  the  Week  at  an  End 

Lou  samedi  a  soir  fait  la  semaine 

On  Saturday  evening,  the  week  at  an  end, 
two  sisters,  Gaiette  and  Oriour,  went 
hand  in  hand  to  bathe  at  the  fountain. 

Spinning  Songs  103 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 
those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 

On  his  way  from  the  quintain,  young  Gerard 
saw  Gaiette  as  he  passed  the  fountain, 
kissed  her  and  held  her  tight  in  his  arms. 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 

those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 

"When  you  have  drawn  enough  water,  you  may 
go  home,  Oriour — you  remember  the  way; 
Gerard  loves  me,  and  with  him  I'll  stay." 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 

those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 

Now  Oriour,  pale  and  sad,  must  go; 

she  sighs  from  the  heart,  and  her  tears  flow 

because  her  sister  will  not  follow. 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 

those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 

"Alas  that  I  was  born  to  sorrow! 

My  sister  remains  in  the  valley  below; 

Gerard  will  take  her  away  to  his  home." 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 

those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 

Gerard  and  Gaiette  had  already  left 

on  the  road  which  straight  to  the  city  led; 

as  soon  as  they  arrived,  they  were  wed. 

Wind  blows  and  the  branches  sweep; 

those  who  love  will  softly  sleep. 


104  Northern  France 

By  Waters  Edge  Sing  Sisters  Three 
Trois  sereurs  seur  rive  mer 

By  water's  edge  sing  sisters  three, 

Full  earnestly. 

The  youngest  is  a  darksome  lass: 

"I  would  a  tawny  love,"  quoth  she, 

'Tor  dark  am  I, 

And  fain  would  have  a  lad  like  me." 

By  water's  edge  sing  sisters  three, 

Full  earnestly. 

The  second  to  her  Robin  calls: 

"Ah!  you  have  ta'en 

My  heart  in  yonder  wooded  grove, — 

Let's  back  again!" 

By  water's  edge  sing  sisters  three, 

Full  earnestly. 

At  length  the  third: 

"Ye  amorous  swains,  hark  to  my  word: 

Love  none  but  tender  damosel, 

And  love  her  well." 



In  an  Orchard  a  Little  Fountain  Flows 
En  un  vergier  lez  une  fontenele 

In  an  orchard  a  little  fountain  flows, 
Shadowless  ripples  over  white  stones, 
There  a  king's  daughter,  her  head  bowed  low, 
Remembers  her  sweet  love  and  her  sorrows. 

Alas,  Count  Guy,  my  friend! 
Without  you  I'll  never  know  joy  again. 

Workers'  Songs  105 

Count  Guy,  my  love,  how  cruel  is  my  fate! 
The  old  man  my  father  gave  me  for  a  mate 
Keeps  me  in  his  house  and  locks  every  gate, 
Nor  can  I  leave  it  early  or  late; 

Alas,  Count  Guy,  my  friend! 
Without  you  I'll  never  know  joy  again. 

The  cruel  husband  hears  her,  and  soon 
Appears  in  the  orchard,  his  belt  removes, 
And  belts  her  until  she  is  so  badly  bruised 
She  falls  at  his  feet  in  a  deathlike  swoon. 

Alas,  Count  Guy,  my  friend! 
Without  you  I'll  never  know  joy  again. 

The  lady  arose  from  her  faint  to  pray 
That  God  in  pity  her  grief  allay, 
"Let  me  not  be  forgotten!  Oh,  may 
I  see  my  love  before  vespers  today." 
Alas,  Count  Guy,  my  friend! 
Without  you  I'll  never  know  joy  again. 

And  Our  Lord  listened  to  her  lament; 
Her  lover  consoled  the  chatelaine. 
Beneath  a  great  tree  whose  branches  bend, 
Many  tears  for  their  love  have  fallen. 
Alas,  Count  Guy,  my  friend! 
Without  you  I'll  never  know  joy  again. 



Poem  of  a  Glass  Blower 
Poeme  du  souffleur  de  verre 

Were  you  not  enchanted  evenings 
When  you  watched  me  blowing  glass 
Sounding  like  the  roar  of  thunder? 

io6  Northern  France 

I  believe  you  surely  were. 

You  imagined  imps  and  Demons 

Helped  me  fashion  all  these  baubles, 

Especially  these  huge  vials 

Formed  by  the  breathing  of  my  lungs. 

This  object  so  round  and  clear 
Seemed  to  shoot  forth  gleaming  sparks 
Bursting  suddenly  in  the  air 
Shattering  in  a  million  shards; 

I'm  sure  that  I  amazed  you 
And  the  same  happened  to  me; 
I  was  struck  dumb  with  surprise 
When  the  glass  bottle  exploded. 


Sounds  of  the  Trades 
Bruits  de  metiers 

When  the  miller  starts  to  grind, 
Trique,  traque,  goes  the  millstone, 
Trique,  traque,  goes  the  millstone, 
Good  wheat,  fine  wheat, 
He  puts  a  fourth  aside. 

When  the  tailor  shapes  his  robe, 
Rique,  raque,  on  the  table, 
Rique,  raque,  on  the  table, 
Good  cloth,  fine  cloth, 
He  puts  an  ell  aside. 

When  the  weaver  is  in  a  rush, 
Zigue,  zagu',  to  warp  his  patch, 
Zigue,  zagu',  to  warp  his  patch, 
Good  yarn,  fine  yarn, 
He  puts  a  ball  aside. 

Workers'  Songs  107 

When  the  cartwright  forms  his  wheel, 
Tique,  tac,  with  his  mallet, 
Tique,  tac,  with  his  mallet, 
From  the  rim  to  the  knob 
He  notes  if  the  lathe  is  round. 


Why  Do  We  Let  Them  Oppress  Us? 
Pourquoi  nous  laisser  faire  dommage? 

Why  do  we  let  them  oppress  us? 
We  are  men  as  they  are, 
Limbs  we  possess  even  as  they, 
And  our  hearts  are  just  as  noble; 
And  as  deeply  can  we  suffer  .  .  . 


By  the  Sweat  of  My  Brow  I  Toiled 
A  la  sueur  de  mon  visage 

By  the  sweat  of  my  brow  I  toiled 
And  I  am  dying  of  hunger, 
Three  days  and  no  morsel  of  bread 
Has  been  tasted  in  my  household, 
Where  none  is. 

I  planted,  harvested,  and  pressed 
The  grapes;  smoked  the  fields  and  pastures, 
To  sustain  life  in  our  children, 
But  I  see  where  all  is  laid  waste 

My  Lord  God,  surely  Thou  knowest 
How  my  days  were  made  days  of  fear, 

108  Northern  France 

By  royal  bailiffs,  by  gendarmes 
Along  with  others,  one  knows  well 

For  to  cleave  the  heads  of  my  calves, 
Ready  to  devour  my  sheep 
Are  they  with  beards  on  their  chins 
But  try  to  get  their  protection 
Some  job! 

Alas!  We  must  simply  struggle 
Together,  we  poor  laborers, 
When  a  lot  of  wicked  scoundrels 
Use  force  and  don't  reinforce  us. 



Complaint  of  the  Weavers 

Complainte  des  tisseuses  de  soie 

Yarn  of  gold  and  silk  spun 
They,  giving  their  best,  each  one, 
But  so  wretched  and  so  poor 
Were  they,  that  at  elbows  and  breasts 
Their  gowns  hung  like  lacey  shreds. 
Stained  were  their  shirts  with  dirt, 
Necks  scrawny,  faces  pale  and  hurt. 
Hunger  and  ills  they  reaped. 
He  looks  at  them  and  they  at  him, 
All  bow  their  heads  and  weep; 
We  weave  forever  silk  and  cloth 
Yet  never  will  be  better  clothed; 
With  want  and  nakedness  accursed; 
Always  hunger,  always  thirst. 
We  will  never  master  the  feat 
Of  learning  to  earn  enough  to  eat; 

Marie  de  France  109 

Only  bread  and  nothing  else, 
Little  at  morn,  and  at  even'  less; 
For  with  all  our  handiwork 
Each  is  given  for  his  living 
But  four  deniers1  of  the  livre1 
And  surely  this  is  not  enough 
To  buy  our  meat,  to  buy  our  cloth. 
Who  earns  a  week  but  twenty  sous 
Cannot  be  free  from  pain  and  woes. 
So  let  all  the  world  know  this: 
There  is  not  even  one  of  us 
Who  gets  more  than  twenty  sous. 
A  duke  could  grow  rich  on  such  fare! 
Great  indeed  is  our  despair; 
But  growing  fat  on  our  labor 
Is  he  for  whom  we  work  and  slave. 
We  wake  to  work  most  of  the  night 
And  through  the  day  we  toil  and  sweat 
And  are  tormented  by  the  threat 
Of  beating  when  we  stop  to  rest 
So  we  dare  neither  stop  nor  rest. 



The  Laustic 
Le  Laustic 

Now  I  will  tell  you  an  adventure 
Of  which  the  Bretons  made  a  lai. 
Its  name  is  Laustic,  I  heard, 
And  so  they  call  it  in  their  country. 
That  is  rossignol  in  French 
And  nightingale  in  good  plain  English. 

In  the  country  of  Saint-Malo 
There  was  a  city  much  renowned. 

1  Old  French  money. 

no  Northern  France 

Two  knights  had  residences  there 
As  owners  of  two  fortress  mansions. 
The  excellence  of  these  two  barons 
Gained  them  a  good  name  in  the  town. 
The  one  was  married  to  a  lady 
Wise,  courteous,  and  well  adorned; 
Wondrously  well  she  kept  herself 
According  to  the  use  and  fashion. 
The  other  was  a  bachelor 
Reputed  well  among  his  peers 
For  prowess  and  great  valor  and 
For  generous  hospitality. 
He  tourneyed  much  and  freely  spent 
And  gave  away  what  he  possessed. 
He  was  in  love  with  his  neighbor's  wife. 
So  long  he  asked,  so  long  he  begged, 
And  had  so  much  good  virtue  in  him, 
That  she  loved  him  above  all  else, 
Both  for  the  virtue  she  had  heard 
And  because  he  lived  so  near  her. 
Wisely  and  well  they  loved  each  other. 
Much  they  dissembled  and  took  care 
That  people  should  not  notice  them 
Nor  yet  disturb  them  or  suspect  them, 
And  this  they  could  well  do  because 
Their  place  of  meeting  was  so  near; 
Their  houses  were  right  next  each  other, 
As  were  their  halls  and  tower-keeps. 
There  was  neither  bar  nor  division 
Except  a  high  wall  of  gray  stone. 
From  chambers  where  the  lady  slept, 
When  she  stood  at  the  window  there 
She  could  converse  with  her  friend  on 
The  other  side,  and  he  with  her. 
They  could  exchange  their  messages 
By  throwing  them  or  tossing  them. 
There  was  but  little  to  displease  them 
And  both  of  them  were  well  content 
Except  that  they  could  never  come 

Marie  de  France  in 

Together  for  their  pleasure,  for 

The  lady  was  most  straitly  guarded 

As  long  as  he  was  in  the  land. 

But  still  they  had  the  satisfaction 

Whether  by  night  or  whether  by  day 

Of  being  able  to  converse, 

And  there  was  no  one  to  prevent 

Their  coming  to  their  windows  there 

To  have  a  look  at  one  another. 

A  long  time  they  loved  one  another 

Until  it  came  to  summer  time 

When  field  and  wood  grew  green  again 

And  all  the  orchards  were  in  flower. 

The  little  birds  in  their  great  sweetness 

Sang  their  delight  atop  the  blossoms. 

It  is  no  wonder,  if  one  loves, 

That  he  should  yield  himself  to  it. 

About  the  knight  I  tell  you  truly 

He  yielded  himself  utterly, 

And  from  the  other  side  the  lady 

Likewise  longed  with  look  and  glance. 

At  night  time  when  the  moon  was  shining 

And  when  her  lord  was  in  his  bed, 

From  by  his  side  she  often  rose 

And  wrapped  her  mantle  close  around  her 

And  went  to  stand  before  her  window 

For  her  friend's  sake,  who  she  well  knew 

Was  likewise  there  and  who  was  likewise 

Watching  most  of  the  night  through. 

Theirs  was  delight  in  simply  gazing 

As  long  as  they  could  have  no  more. 

So  often  she  would  leave  her  bed 

That  her  lord  finally  grew  angry 

And  questioned  her  repeatedly 

Why  she  got  up  and  where  she  went. 

"My  Lord,"  the  lady  answered  him, 

"No  one  has  had  joy  in  this  world 

Who  has  not  heard  the  laustic; 

It  is  for  that  that  I  am  here. 

112  Northern  France 

He  sings  so  sweetly  through  the  night 
It  seems  to  me  a  great  delight. 
I  take  such  pleasure  in  his  song 
I  cannot  shut  my  eyes  in  sleep." 
But  when  her  lord  heard  what  she  said 
He  laughed  in  anger  savagely, 
And  one  thing  he  decided  then : 
That  he  would  trap  the  laustic. 
There  was  no  servant  in  his  house 
But  who  could  rig  a  net  or  snare. 
They  put  them  all  around  the  orchard; 
No  hazel  tree  or  chestnut  tree 
But  they  had  coated  it  with  glue 
Till  they  had  caught  and  held  the  bird. 
And  when  they  had  the  laustic 
They  took  it  to  their  lord  alive, 
And  he  was  happy  when  he  held  it. 
He  went  then  to  the  lady's  chambers: 
"Lady,"  said  he,  "Lady,  where  are  you? 
Come  from  your  room  and  talk  to  us. 

I  have  the  laustic  stuck  fast 
:  That  kept  you  up  so  many  times. 

From  now  on  you  can  sleep  in  peace, 

It  will  not  wake  you  any  more." 

But  when  the  lady  heard  those  words 

She  was  all  sorrowful  and  sad. 

She  asked  her  lord  to  have  the  bird, 

But  he  from  malice  killed  it  there: 

With  his  two  hands  he  wrung  its  neck, 

And  then  did  something  viler  still : 

He  threw  the  body  at  the  lady 

So  that  it  stained  her  dress  with  blood 

In  front  and  just  above  her  breast. 

And  then  at  once  he  left  her  chamber. 

The  lady  picked  the  tiny  body  up. 

Bitterly  she  wept  and  cursed 

All  who  betrayed  the  laustic 

And  made  the  engines  and  the  nets, 

For  they  had  robbed  her  of  great  joy. 

Marie  de  France  113 

"Alas!"  she  said,  "An  evil  chance. 

I  can  no  longer  rise  at  night 

Nor  go  and  stand  before  the  window 

To  watch  for  sight  of  my  beloved. 

One  thing  I  know  for  certain  though: 

He  will  think  I  pretended  merely. 

I  must  devise  some  other  plan. 

Til  send  the  laustic  to  him 

And  give  him  word  of  the  adventure." 

Then  in  a  piece  of  samite  worked 

With  gold  and  covered  with  her  writing 

She  wrapped  the  body  of  the  bird. 

Then  she  sent  for  a  page  of  hers 

And  charged  him  well  to  take  the  message 

To  be  delivered  to  her  friend. 

He  went  directly  to  the  knight 

And  gave  him  greeting  from  his  lady, 

Recounted  to  him  all  her  message, 

And  gave  the  laustic  to  him. 

When  he  had  shown  and  told  him  all 

And  when  the  knight  had  heard  him  out, 

He  was  downcast  at  the  adventure, 

Yet  he  was  neither  vile  nor  slow. 

He  had  a  little  coffret  made, 

No  part  of  it  was  iron  or  steel, 

But  only  gold  and  costly  gems 

Very  precious  and  very  dear, 

And  with  a  lid  that  fitted  closely. 

He  placed  the  laustic  within, 

Then  had  the  tiny  casket  sealed, 

And  always  had  it  carried  with  him. 

This  adventure  was  recounted: 
It  could  not  long  remain  concealed. 
A  lay  the  Bretons  made  of  it, 
Which  people  call  The  Laustic. 


ii4  Northern  France 


In  No  Way  Can  a  Prisoner  Reveal 
]a  nus  hons  fris  ne  dim  sa  reson 

In  no  way  can  a  prisoner  reveal 
His  true  thoughts  unless  he  tells  his  grief; 
But  sorrow  in  a  song  may  find  relief. 
I'm  strong  in  friends,  but  their  support  is  weak; 
Their  shame  if  I,  unransomed,  cannot  leave 
Prison  two  winters  long. 

They  know  well,  my  barons  and  liege-men, 
English,  Norman,  Gascon,  Poitevin, 
I  would  not  suffer  any  one  of  them 
For  money's  sake  to  come  to  such  an  end. 
Nor  do  I  say  this  to  reprove  the  men 
Who  leave  me  here  so  long. 

The  dead  and  prisoners  have  neither  friend 
Nor  family,  no  doubt  that's  what  it  meant 
When  neither  gold  nor  silver  would  they  send. 
Misfortune  more  than  to  me,  to  all  my  men : 
When  I  die  they  will  have  cause  to  repent 
Leaving  me  here  so  long. 

It  is  no  wonder  my  heart  breaks  to  see 
My  lands  invaded  by  that  enemy 
Who,  if  he  remembered  now  that  we 
Once  pledged  each  other  our  security, 
Would  surely  turn  instead  to  have  me  free 
From  prison  before  long. 

In  Anjou  and  in  Tours  they're  well  aware, 
Those  young  lords,  so  rich  and  without  care, 
That  far  away  a  captive's  bonds  I  wear. 

Le  Chastelain  de  Coucy  115 

They  loved  me  once,  but  now  they  do  not  care. 
The  fields  which  rang  with  gallant  deeds  are  bare 
Since  I've  been  here  so  long. 

To  those  I  loved  and  still  love,  to  the  men 
Of  Cayeux,  to  Geoffroy  the  Percherain, 
Say,  my  song,  that  faithless  they  have  been 
To  one  whose  heart  was  never  false  to  them. 
Vile  is  the  deed  if  they  attack  me  when 
I'm  kept  away  so  long. 



The  Sweet  Voice  of  the  Woodland  Nightingale 
La  dolce  voix  del  rosignol  sauvage 

The  sweet  voice  of  the  woodland  nightingale 
All  day  and  all  night  long  enchants  my  ear 
And  from  my  heart  draws  grief  and  care  away 
So  that  I  want  to  sing  out  joyfully. 
Let  my  song  be  worthy,  then,  to  please 
The  lady  whom  I  in  all  things  obey, 
For  joy  rules  in  my  heart  while  I  can  stay 
In  her  service,  never  to  be  free. 

Never  has  my  heart  been  false  or  strayed, 

Happier  by  far  though  it  might  be, 

Yet  in  her  presence  I  dare  not  betray 

How  I  have  loved  and  serve  her  faithfully; 

For  all  her  beauty  so  bewilders  me 

That  with  her  I  can't  find  the  words  to  say, 

Nor  can  I  even  look  into  her  face 

My  eyes  would  leave  her  so  unwillingly. 

I  think  of  nothing  else  all  night  and  day 
But  that  God  grant  me  joy  of  my  sweet  lady! 

Ii6  Northern  France 

And  never  did  Tristan  by  the  drink  betrayed 
Yield  to  love  with  such  sincerity. 
I've  given  all  to  her,  though  it  be  folly, 
My  heart  and  body,  will  and  mind  as  gage 
Of  love,  yet  my  whole  life  will  pass  away 
Before  I've  served  my  lady  worthily. 

Even  if  I  with  life  itself  must  pay 
For  loving  her,  I  would  not  call  it  folly; 
No  one  will  ever  find  her  like  again, 
And  nothing  in  the  world  so  pleased  me. 
I  bless  my  eyes  which  placed  my  heart  in  fief 
To  her  at  the  first  moment;  I've  remained 
Long  her  hostage,  nor  shall  I  complain 
At  any  time  to  have  her  set  me  free. 

My  song,  now  carry  all  that  I  would  say 
Where  I  myself  dare  not  trespass  for  fear 
That  evil  scandal-mongers  lie  in  wait; 
Anticipating  lovers,  they  foresee 
Love's  pleasures,  may  God  show  them  no  mercy! 
And  thus  have  brought  so  many  to  dismay 
That  I  must  from  my  lady  keep  away, 
For  love  has  no  defense  but  secrecy. 



If  This  Insensate  Rage 
La  rage  et  derverie 

If  this  insensate  rage 
And  the  distress  of  love 
Have  brought  me  to  complain 
As  fools  speak  ill  of  love, 
Let  no  one  this  reprove; 
If  love  my  faith  betrays, 

Conon  de  Bethune  117 

I  who  have  been  love's  slave, 
What  can  I  hold  true? 

My  grievance,  love,  shall  tell 
And  demonstrate  your  guilt; 
You  claimed  me  as  chattel, 
Nor  challenged  me,  but  killed. 
You  have  compelled  my  will 
Where  my  cold  joy  lies  still, 
Now  she  whose  love  was  all 
Drives  me  toward  hopes  fulfilled. 

Lovely  as  an  idol 
Is  she  of  whom  I  speak, 
But  vileness  in  her  soul, 
Petulant  and  weak, 
Makes  her  appear  to  me 
Like  the  wild  she-wolf 
Who  from  within  the  wood 
Only  the  worst  will  seek. 

Why  should  she  be  proud 
Of  so  disdaining  me? 
For  this  no  wisdom  bows 
To  her,  for  what  is  she? 
And  yet,  if  her  folly 
My  banishment  allows, 
I  give  her  back  her  vows 
And  take  my  leave. 

Now  has  the  earth  grown  hard, 
Nowhere  do  waters  flow; 
My  heart  would  set  its  mark 
Where  I  can  never  know 
Fruit  nor  leaf  nor  flower. 
It's  time;  now  serve,  my  heart, 
Justice  and  reason's  part; 
Give  back  her  love  and  go. 


n8  Northern  France 


The  Circumcision  of  Our  Lord 
La  Circoncision  du  Seigneur 

At  the  entrance  to  the  church 

Light  this  day,  light  of  joy!  I  say  he  who  is  sad 

Must  be  turned  away  from  this  celebration. 

This  way  let  all  hatred,  all  sorrow  be  allayed; 

They  desire  gaiety,  those  who  celebrate  the  festivity  of  the  ass. 

Singing,  the  procession  moves  toward  the  tableau.  (This  desig- 
nates to  each  his  role  during  the  service.) 

From  the  Orient 
The  ass  has  come, 
Fair  and  valiant, 
Ready  for  his  burden. 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

On  the  hills  of  Sichem 
Fed  by  Ruben 
He  crossed  the  Jordan, 
He  climbed  toward  Bethlehem. 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

Galloping,  he  outran  mules 
Deer  and  mountain  goats, 
Fleeter  than  the  Madianites' 
Swift  dromedaries. 

Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

Gold  from  Arabia 
Incense  and  mvrrh  from  Sheba 
Brings  to  the  Church 
The  strength  of  the  ass. 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

Anonymous  119 

While  he  draws  the  carts 
Piled  up  high 
His  jaw 

Grinds  his  tough  fodder. 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

Bearded  barley 
And  thistles  he  eats. 
Wheat  from  the  chaff 
He  winnows  in  the  air. 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

Then  say,  Amen,  Ass, 
Now  sated  with  grain 
Amen,  repeat  amen; 
Let  the  old  make  way, 
Ho,  my  Sire  Ass,  ho! 

The  notice  having  been  read,  the  Priest  begins: 

God,  come  to  the  aid 
Of  those  who  are  hurt, 

Quickly  to  help  them 
Efface  their  pains. 

Pity  all  those 

Who  believe  in  you,  Christ, 
You  are  God  of  the  centuries 
Eternal  in  your  glory. 

So  that  our  choir  may 
Sing  and  say  your  praises 
To  you,  Christ,  king  of  glory, 
Glory  to  you,  Oh  Lord! 


Alle  .  .  .     Let  all  churches  sing 

The  sweet  sound  of  the  symphony. 

120  Northern  France 

Son  of  Mary, 

Holy  Mother, 

Overwhelm  us  with  your  gifts 

Of  grace  sevenfold,  and  of  glory. 

Thus  we  say  to  God:  luya! 

Four  or  five  Priests  sing  in  falsetto  behind  the  altar: 

This  is  a  day  of  clarity,  light  among  days  of  clarity, 

This  is  a  holy  day,  holy  among  holy  days 

Deserving  the  diadem  of  noblesse  among  other  noble  days. 

Two  or  three  Priests  sing  before  the  altar,  in  full  voice:  (Pas- 
tiche du  Salve,  festa  dies,  Paschal  hymn  of  Fortunat.) 

Salutations,  holy  day,  venerable  in  all  ages, 
When  God  came  from  the  womb  of  the  Virgin. 

Small  verses  sung  by  two  or  three  Priests: 




Holy  Might 


Sun,  light 
And  summit 

Rock  mountain, 
Rock,  spring, 
River,  bridge 
and  life. 

You  who  sow, 

inonymous  121 


Light  eternal; 

You,  splendor, 
And  beauty, 
And  splendor 
And  fragrance 

Waking  life  in  all  that  is  mortal. 

You  the  pole 
The  summit 
King  of  Kings, 
Law  of  Laws 
And  avenger 

Angelic  light, 
Are  proclaimed 
And  adored 

And  acclaimed 
And  loved 

by  celestial  legions. 

You  God 
The  hero, 
Radiant  flower, 
Dew  of  life, 
Reign  over  us, 
Save  us, 
Lead  us 

To  the  supreme 

and  to  true  joys. 

You  honor 
And  virtue, 
You  are  the  just 
And  the  true, 
You  the  holy 

122  Northern  France 

And  the  good, 
The  righteous 
And  the  sovereign 
Our  Lord, 

Glory  be  unto  you! 


May  I  Sing  to  You? 
Voulez-vous  que  je  vous  chante? 

May  I  sing  to  you 

A  song  of  charming  love? 

Not  of  any  knave, 
But  of  a  gentle  knight 
Under  an  olive's  shade, 

Holding  his  love. 

A  blouse  of  fine  linen, 
A  cloak  of  white  ermine, 

And  a  silk  bodice  she  had; 
Her  hose  were  of  irises, 
In  shoes  of  mayflowers  neatly 

Her  feet  were  clad. 

Her  girdle  was  of  leaves 
That  grew  green  in  the  rain; 

Its  clasp  was  wrought  of  gold; 
Her  purse  was  made  of  love, 
Tasseled  all  with  flowers 

Given  by  love  to  hold. 

She  rode  upon  a  mule 
Shod  with  silver  shoes, 

The  saddle  of  gold  was  made; 
Behind,  upon  the  crupper, 
Three  rose  trees  had  she  planted 

To  give  her  shade. 

uiot  de  Dijon  123 

So  she  went  along  the  lea, 
Knights  did  meet  with  her, 

And  greeted  courteously: 
"Fair  maid,  where  were  you  born?" 
"All  France  sings  my  praise, 

I  am  of  high  degree. 

"My  father  is  the  nightingale 
Who  sings  upon  the  bough 

Of  the  highest  tree; 
The  mermaid  is  my  mother 
Who  sings  on  the  farthest  shore 

Of  the  salty  sea." 

"How  well  are  you  born,  fair  maid! 
Of  noble  parentage, 

You  come  of  high  degree. 
May  it  please  God,  our  Father, 
That  as  my  wedded  wife 

You  may  be  given  me." 



I  Will  Sing  and  So  Relieve 

Chanterai  por  mon  corage 

I  will  sing  and  so  relieve 
the  sorrow  in  my  heart,  for  I 
fear  that  left  alone  to  grieve 
I'll  go  mad  or  else  will  die. 
From  that  barbarous  land  where  he 
went  a  pilgrim,  none  arrive 
home  again,  and  I  receive 
no  promise  that  he  is  alive. 
God,  the  warcry  sounding  clear, 
Lord,  help  the  crusader  then 

124  Northern 

for  whom  I  so  greatly  fear; 
evil  is  the  Saracen. 

As  I  am  I  shall  remain 
till  my  love  returns  to  me. 
May  God  bring  him  home  again 
from  pilgrimage  across  the  sea! 
Be  it  known  that  I  disdain 
every  other  chance  to  marry; 
though  my  family  complain, 
there  is  no  one  else  for  me. 
God,  the  warcry  sounding  clear, 
Lord,  help  the  crusader  then 
for  whom  1  so  greatly  fear; 
evil  is  the  Saracen. 

He  is  lost  to  me  out  there; 
that  is  what  so  grieves  my  heart. 
Now  surrender  to  despair 
pleasures  from  my  life  depart. 
He  is  handsome,  I  am  fair. 
God,  why  did  you  let  it  start? 
When  we  for  one  another  care 
why  have  you  forced  us  to  part? 
God,  the  warcry  sounding  clear, 
Lord,  help  the  crusader  then 
for  whom  1  so  greatly  fear; 
evil  is  the  Saracen. 

Because  he  pledged  me  fealty 
I  am  well  content  to  wait. 
When  the  wind  blows  from  the  sea, 
from  that  sweet  land  far  away 
where  he  is  who  longs  for  me, 
toward  the  wind  I  turn  my  face: 
it  seems  to  be  my  love  I  feel 
underneath  my  cloak  of  gray. 
God,  the  warcry  sounding  clear, 
Lord,  help  the  crusader  then 

ace  Brule  125 

for  whom  I  so  greatly  fear; 
evil  is  the  Saracen. 

It  grieved  me  that  I  was  deprived 
of  going  to  the  parting  place. 
His  crusader's  robe  arrived, 
sent  me  as  a  last  embrace. 
When  love  tortures  me  at  night, 
I  invoke  its  healing  grace, 
around  my  body  wrap  it  tight 
as  if  it  took  my  sorrow's  place. 
God,  the  warcry  sounding  clear, 
Lord,  help  the  crusader  then 
for  wliom  I  so  greatly  fear; 
evil  is  the  Saracen. 



Most  Hateful  Is  It  to  My  Eyes 
Cant  voi  I'aube  dou  jor  venir 

Most  hateful  is  it  to  my  eyes 
when  the  dawn  comes  to  the  skies 
telling  my  true  love  to  arise 
and  with  me  no  longer  stay; 
nothing  I  hate  so  much  as  day 
which  keeps  me  away,  love,  from  you. 

By  daylight  you  cannot  appear 
for  I  have  good  cause  to  fear 
the  jealous  ones  who  hover  near 
to  spy  on  us — you  know  it's  true. 
Nothing  I  hate  so  much  as  day 
which  keeps  me  away,  love,  from  you. 

When  I  am  lying  in  my  bed 

and  toward  my  lover  turn  my  head 

126  Northern  Franc* 

to  find  your  empty  place  instead, 
thus  I  lament  as  lovers  do: 
nothing  I  hate  so  much  as  day 
which  keeps  me  away,  love,  from  you. 

You  must  go  now,  my  sweet  friend, 
your  body  I  to  God  commend, 
that  you  forget  me  not  I  pray; 
my  love  for  you  can  have  no  end. 
Nothing  I  hate  so  much  as  day 
which  keeps  me  away,  love,  from  you. 

To  all  who  truly  love  I  bring 

this  my  song,  and  may  they  sing 

in  despite  of  gossiping 

and  of  jealous  husbands  too: 

nothing  I  hate  so  much  as  day 

which  keeps  me  away,  love,  from  you. 



Romance  of  the  Rose 
Le  Roman  de  la  Rose 

I  was  aware  that  it  was  May, 
Five  years  or  more  ago;  I  dreamed 
That  I  was  filled  with  joy  in  May, 
The  amorous  month,  when  everything 
Rejoices,  when  one  sees  no  bush  or  hedge 
That  does  not  wish  to  adorn  itself 
With  new  leaves.  The  woods,  dry  in  winter, 
Recover  their  greenery,  and  the  very  earth 
Glories  in  the  roses  which  water  it  and  forgets 
The  poverty  in  which  the  winter  was  passed. 
Then  the  earth  becomes  so  proud 
That  it  wants  a  new  robe;  and  it  knows 

ruillaume  de  Lorris  127 

How  to  make  a  robe  so  intricate 

That  it  has  a  hundred  pairs  of  colors, 

This  robe  of  grass  and  flowers,  blue, 

White,  and  many  others,  by  which 

The  earth  enriches  itself.  The  birds, 

Silent  while  they  were  cold  and  the  weather 

Hard  and  bitter,  become  so  gay 

In  May,  in  serene  weather,  that  their  hearts 

Are  filled  with  joy  until  they  must  sing 

Or  burst.  It  is  then  that  the  nightingale 

Is  constrained  to  sing  his  sound,  then 

That  both  parrot  and  lark  take  their  pleasure, 

And  then  that  young  men  must  become  gay 

And  amorous  in  the  sweet,  lovely  weather. 

He  who  does  not  love  in  May 

Has  a  very  hard  heart,  when  he  hears 

The  birds  on  the  branches,  singing  their  heart-sweet 

Songs.  And  so  I  dreamed  one  night 

That  I  was  in  that  delicious  season 

When  everything  is  stirred  by  love, 

And  as  I  slept  I  became  aware 

That  it  was  full  morning.  I  got  up 

From  bed  straightway,  put  on  my  shoes 

And  washed  my  hands.  Then  I  drew 

A  silver  needle  from  a  dainty  little 

Needle-case  and  threaded  it. 

I  had  a  longing  to  go  out  of  town 

To  hear  the  sound  of  birds  that  sang, 

In  that  new  season,  among  the  trees. 

I  stitched  my  sleeves  in  zigzag  lacing 

And  set  out,  quite  alone,  to  enjoy  myself 

Listening  to  the  birds  who  strained 

Themselves  to  sing  of  the  gardens  bursting 

Into  bloom. 

Happy,  light-hearted,  full 
Of  joy,  I  turned  toward  a  river 
That  I  heard  murmuring  nearby, 
For  I  knew  no  place  to  go  for  pleasure 
More  beautiful  than  by  that  river, 

128  Northern  France 

Whose  water  gushed  deep  and  swift 

From  a  nearby  hill,  as  clear  and  cold 

As  that  from  a  well  or  fountain.  It  was 

But  little  smaller  than  the  Seine, 

But  spread  out  wider.  I  had  never  seen 

A  stream  so  charmingly  placed;  it  pleased 

And  delighted  me  to  look  on  it. 

As  I  washed  my  face  and  refreshed  myself 

With  the  clear,  shining  water,  I  saw 

That  the  bottom  of  the  stream  was  all  covered 

And  paved  with  gravel.  The  wide,  beautiful 

Meadow  came  right  to  the  edge  of  the  water. 

The  mild  morning  air  was  clear, 

Pure,  and  beautiful.  Then  I  walked 

Out  away  through  the  meadow,  full 

Of  joy  as  I  kept  to  the  river  bank 

In  descending  the  stream. 



Romance  of  the  Rose 
Le  Roman  de  la  Rose 

In  short,  all  men  betray  us  women. 
All  are  sensualists,  taking  their  pleasure 
Anywhere.  Therefore  we  women  should  deceive  them 
In  turn,  not  fix  our  hearts  on  one. 
A  woman  who  does  so  is  a  fool.  She  should  have 
Several  friends  and,  if  possible,  try 
To  delight  them  so  that  they  are  driven  to  distraction. 
If  she  has  no  graces,  let  her  learn  them: 
Let  her  be  haughtier  toward  those  who,  because 
Of  her  hauteur,  will  take  more  trouble  to  serve  her 
So  as  to  deserve  her  love,  but  let  her 
Scheme  to  take  from  those  who  make  light 
Of  her  love.  She  should  know  games  and  songs 

Jean  de  Meun  129 

And  flee  from  quarrels  and  disputes. 

If  she's  not  beautiful,  she  should  pretty  herself. 

The  ugliest  should  wear  the  most  coquettish 


Now  if,  to  her  great  sorrow, 
She  should  see  her  beautiful  brown  hair 
Falling,  or  if,  because  of  a  serious  illness, 
She  has  to  have  it  cut  off 
And  her  beauty  spoiled,  or  if  it  happens 
That  some  vulgar  fellow  has  cut  it  off 
In  anger,  so  that  she  is  unable  to  recover 
Her  long  locks,  she  should  have  someone 
Bring  her  a  dead  woman's  hair,  or  pads 
Of  light  silk,  stuffed  into  shapes. 
Over  her  ears  she  should  wear  such  horns 
That  they  could  not  be  surpassed  by  stag, 
Billy  goat  or  unicorn,  even  if  he 
Had  to  burst  his  forehead;  if  they  need  color, 
She  should  tint  them  with  plant  extracts, 
For  fruits,  woods,  leaves,  bark, 
And  roots  have  strong  medicinal  properties. 
Lest  she  should  suffer  loss  of  color, 
A  heart-rending  experience,  she 
Must  make  sure  always  to  have  pots  of  moistening 
Skin-creams  in  her  rooms  so  that  she 
May  hide  away  to  put  on  her  paint; 
But  she  must  be  very  careful 
Not  to  let  any  of  her  guests  notice 
Or  see  her,  or  she  would  be  in  trouble. 

If  she  has  a  lovely  neck 
And  white  chest,  she  should  see 
That  her  dress-cutter  lower  her  neckline 
So  that  it  reveals  a  half-foot,  in  front 
And  in  back,  of  her  fine  white  flesh; 
Thus  she  may  deceive  more  easily. 
And  if  her  shoulders  are  too  large 
To  be  pleasing  at  dances  and  balls 
She  should  wear  a  dress  of  fine  cloth 
And  thus  appear  less  ungainly.  And  if, 

130  Northern  France 

Because  of  insect  bites  or  pimples, 

She  doesn't  have  beautiful,  well-kept  hands, 

She  should  be  careful  not  to  neglect  them 

But  should  lift  the  pimples  with  a  needle 

Or  wear  gloves  so  that  the  scabs 

And  pimples  will  not  show. 

If  her  breasts 
Are  too  heavy  she  should  take  a  scarf 
Or  towel  to  bind  them  against  her  chest 
And  wrap  it  tight  round  her  ribs,  securing  it 
With  needle  and  thread  by  a  knot; 
Thus  she  can  be  active  in  her  play. 

And  like  a  good  little  girl  she  should  keep 
Her  chamber  of  Venus  tidy.  If  she 
Is  intelligent  and  well  brought-up,  she  will  leave 
No  cobwebs  around,  but  will  burn  or  destroy  them, 
Tear  them  down  and  sweep  them  up, 
So  that  no  grime  can  collect  anywhere. 

If  her  feet  are  ugly,  she  should  keep  them  covered 
And  wear  fine  stockings  if  her  legs  are  large. 
In  short,  unless  she's  very  stupid 
She  should  hide  any  defect  that  she  knows  of. 

For  example,  if  she  knows  that  her  breath 
Is  foul  she  should  spare  no  amount  of  trouble 
Never  to  fast,  never  to  speak 
To  others  on  an  empty  stomach,  and, 
If  possible,  to  keep  her  mouth  away 
From  people's  noses. 

When  she  has 
The  impulse  to  laugh,  she  should  laugh  discreetly 
And  prettily,  so  that  she  shows  little  dimples 
At  the  corners  of  her  mouth.  She  should  avoid  puffing 
Her  cheeks  and  screwing  her  face  up  in  grimaces. 
Her  lips  should  be  kept  closed  and  her  teeth 
Covered;  a  woman  should  always  laugh 
With  her  mouth  closed,  for  the  sight  of  a  mouth 
Stretched  like  a  gash  across  the  face 
Is  not  a  pretty  sight.  If  her  teeth 
Are  not  even,  but  ugly  and  crooked, 

Jean  de  Meun  131 

She  will  be  thought  little  of  if  she  shows  them 
When  she  laughs. 

There  is  also  a  proper  way 
To  cry.  But  every  woman  is  adept 
Enough  to  cry  well  on  any  occasion, 
For,  even  though  the  tears  are  not  caused 
By  grief  or  shame  or  hurt,  they  are  always 
Ready.  All  women  cry;  they  are  used 
To  crying  in  whatever  way  they  want. 
But  no  man  should  be  disturbed  when  he  sees 
Such  tears  flowing  as  fast  as  rain, 
For  these  tears,  these  sorrows  and  lamentations 
Flow  only  to  trick  him.  A  woman's  weeping 
Is  nothing  but  a  ruse;  she  will  overlook 
No  source  of  grief.  But  she  must  be  careful 
Not  to  reveal,  in  word  or  deed, 
What  she  is  thinking  of. 

It  is  also  proper  to  behave  suitably 
At  table.  Before  sitting  down  she  should  look 
Around  the  house  and  let  everyone  understand 
That  she  herself  knows  how  to  run  a  house. 
Let  her  come  and  go,  in  the  front  rooms  and  in  back, 
And  be  the  last  to  sit  down,  being  sure 
To  wait  a  little  before  she  finally 
Takes  her  seat.  Then,  when  she's  seated 
At  table,  she  should  serve  everyone  as  well 
As  possible.  She  should  slice  the  bread 
In  front  of  the  others  and  pass  it  to  those 
Around  her.  To  deserve  praise,  let  her  serve 
The  food  in  front  of  the  one  who  shares 
Her  plate.  She  should  put  a  thigh  or  wing 
Before  him,  in  his  presence,  carve 
The  beef  or  pork,  meat  or  fish, 
Depending  upon  what  food  there  happens 
To  be.  She  should  never  be  niggardly 
In  her  servings  as  long  as  there  is  anyone 
Unsatisfied.  Let  her  guard  against  getting 
Her  fingers  wet  up  to  the  joint 
In  the  sauce,  against  smearing  lips  with  soup, 

132  Northern  France 

Garlic,  or  fat  meat,  against  piling  up 

Too  large  morsels  and  stuffing  her  mouth. 

When  she  has  to  moisten  a  piece  in  any 

Sauce,  either  verte,  canieline,  or  jauce, 

She  should  hold  the  bit  with  her  fingertips 

And  bring  it  carefully  up  to  her  mouth, 

So  that  no  drop  of  soup,  sauce,  or  pepper 

Falls  on  her  breast.  She  must  drink  so  neatly 

That  she  doesn't  spill  a  single  thing  on  herself, 

For  anyone  who  happened  to  see  her  spill 

Would  think  her  either  very  clumsy 

Or  very  greedy.  Again,  she  must  take  care 

Not  to  touch  her  drinking  cup 

While  she  has  food  in  her  mouth.  She  should  wipe 

Her  mouth  so  clean  that  grease  will  not  stick 

To  the  cup,  and  should  be  particularly  careful 

About  her  upper  lip,  for,  when 

There's  grease  on  it,  untidy  drops 

Of  it  will  show  in  her  wine.  She  should  drink 

Only  a  little  at  a  time,  however  great 

Her  appetite,  and  never  empty 

A  cup,  large  or  small,  in  one 

Breath,  but  rather  drink  little  and  often, 

So  that  she  doesn't  go  around 

Causing  others  to  say  that  she  gorges 

Or  drinks  too  much  while  her  mouth  is  full. 

She  should  avoid  swallowing  the  rim  of  her  cup, 

As  do  many  greedy  nurses,  who  are  so  foolish 

That  they  pour  wine  down  their  hollow  throats 

As  if  they  were  casks,  who  pour  it  down 

In  such  huge  gulps  that  they  become 

Fuddled  and  dazed.  Now  a  lady 

Must  be  careful  not  to  get  drunk,  for  a  drunk, 

Man  or  woman,  cannot  keep  anything 

Secret;  and  when  a  woman  gets  drunk, 

She  has  no  defenses  at  all  in  her, 

She  blurts  out  everything  whenever  she  thinks  it 

And  abandons  herself  to  anyone 

When  she  yives  hersell  over  to  such  bad  conduct. 

Jean  de  Meun  133 

She  must  also  beware  of  falling  asleep 
At  table,  for  she  would  be  much  less  pleasant; 
Many  disagreeable  things  can  happen 
To  those  who  take  such  naps.  There  is  no 
Sense  in  napping  in  places  where  one 
Should  remain  awake,  and  manv  have  been 
Deceived  in  this  way,  have  many  times  fallen, 
Either  forwards  or  backwards  or  sideways,  and  broken 
An  arm  or  head  or  ribs.  Let  a  woman 
Beware  lest  such  a  nap  overtake  her; 
Let  her  recall  Palinurus,  the  helmsman 
Of  Aeneas's  ship;  while  awake  he  steered  it 
Well,  but  when  sleep  overcame  him, 
He  fell  from  the  rudder  into  the  sea  and  drowned 
Within  sight  of  his  companions,  who  afterward 
Greatly  mourned  for  him. 

A  lady  must  be  careful  not  to  be  too 
Reluctant  to  play,  for  she  might  wait  around 
So  long  that  no  one  would  want  to  offer 
His  hand  to  her.  She  should  seek  the  seduction 
Of  love  while  youth  leads  her  in  that 
Direction,  for,  when  old  age  assails 
A  woman,  she  loses  both  the  joy 
And  the  assault  of  Love.  A  wise  woman 
Will  gather  the  fruit  of  love  in  the  flower 
Of  her  age.  The  unhappy  woman  loses 
Her  time  who  passes  it  without 
Enjoying  love.  And  if  she  disbelieves 
This  advice  of  mine,  which  I  give 
For  the  profit  of  all,  be  sure  that  she 
Will  be  sorry  when  age  withers  her.  But  I  know 
That  women  will  believe  me,  particularly  those 
Who  are  sensible,  and  will  stick  to  our  rules  and  will  say 
Many  paternosters  for  my  soul 
When  I  am  dead,  who  now  teach 
And  comfort  them.  I  know  that  this  lesson 
Will  be  read  in  many  schools. 

O  fair  sweet 

134  Northern  France 

Son,  if  you  live — for  I  see  well  that  you 

Are  writing  down  in  the  book  of  your  heart 

The  whole  of  my  teaching,  and  that,  when  you  depart 

From  me,  you  will  read  more,  if  pleasing 

To  God,  and  will  become  a  master 

Like  me — if  you  live  I  confer  on  you 

The  license  to  teach,  in  spite  of  all 

Chancellors,  in  chambers  or  in  cellars,  in  meadow, 

Garden,  or  thicket,  under  a  tent 

Or  behind  the  tapestries,  and  to  instruct  the  students 

In  wardrobes,  storerooms,  pantries,  and  stables, 

If  you  find  no  pleasanter  places. 

And  may  my  lesson  be  well  taught 

When  you  have  learned  it  well. 

A  woman 
Should  be  careful  not  to  stay  too  much 
Shut  up,  for  while  she  remains  indoors 
She  is  less  seen  by  everybody,  her  beauty 
Is  less  well-known,  less  desired  and  in  demand 
Less.  She  should  go  often  to  the  principal 
Church  and  go  visiting,  to  weddings,  on  trips, 
At  games,  feasts,  and  round  dances,  for  in  such  places 
The  god  and  goddess  of  love  keep  their  schools 
And  sing  mass  to  their  disciples. 

But  of  course, 
If  she  is  to  be  admired  above  others, 
She  has  to  be  well  dressed.  When  she  is  well 
Turned  out  and  goes  through  the  streets, 
She  should  carry  herself  well,  not  too  stiffly 
Nor  too  loosely,  neither  too  upright 
Nor  too  inclined,  but  easily  and  graciously 
In  any  crowd.  She  should  move  her  shoulders 
And  sides  so  elegantly  that  no  one  might  find 
Any  movements  more  beautiful.  And  she  should  walk 
Daintily  in  her  pretty  little  shoes,  so  well  made 
That  they  fit  her  feet  without  any  wrinkles 

Whatever.  If  her  dress  drags  or  hangs  down  near  the  pavement, 
She  should  raise  it  on  the  sides  or  in  front  as  if 
To  have  a  little  ventilation 

Jean  de  Menu  135 

Or  as  if  she  had  the  habit  of  tucking  up 

Her  gown  in  order  to  step  more  freely. 

Then  she  must  be  careful  to  let  all  the  passers-by 

See  the  fine  shape  of  her  exposed  foot. 

And  if  she  is  the  sort  to  wear  a  coat 

She  should  wear  it  so  that  it  will  not 

Hinder  too  much  the  view  of  the  beautiful  body 

It  covers.  She  will  want  to  display 

Her  body  and  the  cloth  in  which  she  is  dressed; 

The  stuff  should  be  neither  too  heavy  nor  light, 

With  threads  of  silver  and  seed  pearls.  She  will  want 

Particularly  to  show  off  her  purse,  which  should  be 

Exposed  for  all  to  see;  therefore 

She  should  take  the  coat  in  both  hands  and  widen 

And  extend  her  arms,  whether  she's  on 

A  clean  street  or  a  muddy  one.  Remembering 

The  wheel  which  the  peacock  makes  with  his  tail, 

She  should  do  the  same  with  her  coat,  to  display 

Openly  both  her  body  and  the  fur  linings 

Of  her  clothing,  squirrel  or  other  costly  fur, 

To  all  she  might  see  staring  at  her. 

Now  if  her  face  is  not  handsome, 
She  must  be  clever  and  show  to  people 
Her  beautiful  priceless  blond  tresses 
And  her  well-coiffed  neck.  A  lovely  head 
Of  hair  is  a  very  pleasant  thing. 

A  woman  should  always  take  care 
To  imitate  the  she-wolf  when  she  wants 
To  steal  lambs,  for,  in  order  not  to  fail 
Completely,  she  has  to  attack  a  thousand 
To  capture  one;  she  doesn't  know  which 
She  will  take  before  she  has  taken  it. 
Thus  a  woman  ought  to  spread  her  nets 
Everywhere  in  order  to  catch  all  men : 
Since  she  cannot  know  which  of  them  she  may  have 
The  grace  to  catch,  at  least  she  ought 
To  hook  on  to  all  of  them  in  order  to  be  sure 
Of  having  one  for  herself.  If  she  does  so, 
It  should  never  happen  that  she  will  have 

136  Northern  France 

No  catch  at  all  from  among  the  thousands 
Of  fools  who  will  rub  up  against  her  flanks. 
Indeed  she  may  catch  several,  for  art 
Is  a  great  aid  to  nature. 

But  if  she  does 
Hook  several  of  those  who  want  to  skewer 
Her,  let  her  be  careful,  however  things  run, 
Not  to  make  appointments  at  the  same  hour 
With  two  of  them.  If  several  were  to  appear 
Together  they  would  think  themselves  deceived 
And  they  might  even  leave  her.  An  event  like  this 
Could  set  her  back  a  long  way,  for  at  the  least 
She  would  lose  what  each  had  brought  her. 
She  should  never  leave  them  anything 
On  which  they  might  grow  fat,  but  plunge  them 
Into  poverty  so  great  that  they  may  die 
Miserable  and  in  debt;  in  this  way  she 
Will  be  rich,  for  what  remains  theirs 
Is  lost  to  her. 

She  should  not  love  a  poor  man, 
For  a  pauper  is  good  for  nothing.  Even  if  he 
Were  Ovid  or  Homer,  he  wouldn't  be  worth 
Two  drinking  mugs.  Nor  should  she  love 
A  foreign  traveler,  for  his  heart  is  as  flighty 
As  his  body,  which  lodges  in  many  places; 
No,  I  advise  her  not  to  love  a  traveler. 
However,  if  during  his  stay  he  offers 
Money  or  jewels,  she  should  take  them  all 
And  put  them  in  her  coffer;  then  he 
May  do  as  he  pleases,  in  haste  or  at  his  leisure. 

She  must  be  very  careful  not  to  love  ot  value 
Any  man  who  is  too  elegant  or  haughty 
About  his  beauty,  for  it  is  pride  which  tempts  him. 
The  man  who  pleases  himself,  never  doubt  it, 
Incurs  the  wrath  of  God;  so  says  Ptolemy, 

I  he  great  lover  of  knowledge.  Such  a  man 
I  las  so  evil  and  bitter  a  heart  that  he  cannot 
Love  well.  What  he  says  to  one  woman  he  says 

fo  all.  He  tricks  many  to  despoil  and  rob  them. 

Jean  de  Meun  137 

I  have  seen  many  complaints  of  maidens 
Thus  deceived. 

And  if  anyone, 
Honest  man  or  swindler,  makes  promises, 
Hoping  to  beg  for  her  love  and  bind  heT 
To  him  by  vows,  she  may  exchange  vows, 
But  she  must  be  careful  not  to  put 
Herself  at  his  mercy  unless  she  gets  hold 
Of  the  money  as  well.  If  he  makes  any  promise 
In  writings,  she  must  see  if  there  is  any 
Deception  or  if  his  good  intentions 
Are  those  of  a  true  heart.  She  may  then  write 
An  early  reply,  but  not  without  some  delay. 
Delay  excites  lovers  as  long 
As  it's  not  too  great. 

Again,  when  she  hears 
A  lover's  request,  she  should  be  reluctant 
To  grant  all  her  love,  yet  shouldn't  refuse 
Everything,  but  try  to  keep  him  in  a  state 
Of  balance  between  fear  and  hope.  When  he  makes 
His  demands  more  pressing  and  she  doesn't  yield 
To  him  her  love,  which  has  bound  him  so  strongly, 
She  must  arrange  things,  through  her  strength  and  craft. 
So  that  hope  grows  constantly,  little  by  little 
While  fear  diminishes,  until  peace  and  concord 
Bring  the  two  together.  In  giving  in  to  him,  she, 
Who  knows  so  many  wily  ruses, 
Should  swear  by  God  and  by  the  saints 
That  she  has  never  wished  to  give  herself 
To  anyone,  no  matter  how  well  he  may  have  plead; 
Then  she  should  say,  "My  lord,  this 
Is  my  all;  by  the  faith  which  I  owe  to  St.  Peter 
Of  Rome,  I  give  myself  to  you 
Out  of  pure  love,  not  because  of  your  gifts. 
The  man  isn't  born  for  whom  I  would  do  this 
For  any  gift,  however  greatly  he  desired  it. 
I  have  refused  many  a  worthy  man,  for  many 
Have  gazed  adoringly  at  me.  I  think 
You  must  have  cast  a  spell  over  me; 

138  Northern  France 

You  have  sung  me  a  wicked  song." 
Then  she  should  embrace  him  closely 
And  kiss  him  so  that  he'll  be  better  deluded. 

But  if  she  wants  my  advice,  she  should  think 
Only  of  what  she  can  get.  She's  a  fool 
Who  doesn't  pluck  her  lover  down 
To  the  last  feather,  for  the  better  she  can  pluck 
The  more  she'll  have,  and  she'll  be  more  highly 
Valued  when  she  sells  herself  more  dearly. 
Men  scorn  what  they  can  get  for  nothing; 
They  value  it  at  not  a  single  husk. 
If  they  lose  it,  they  care  little,  certainly 
Not  as  much  as  does  one  who  has  bought  it 
At  a  high  price. 

Here,  then,  are  proper  ways 
To  pluck  men :  Get  your  servants,  the  chambermaid, 
The  nurse,  your  sister,  even  your  mother, 
If  she's  not  too  particular,  to  help  on  the  task 
And  do  all  they  can  to  get  the  lover 
To  give  them  coats,  jackets,  gloves, 
Or  mittens;  like  kites,  they  will  plunder 
Whatever  they  can  seize  from  him, 
So  that  he  may  in  no  way  escape  from  their  hands 
Before  he  has  spent  his  last  penny. 
Let  him  give  them  money  and  jewels 
As  though  he  were  playing  with  buttons  instead 
Of  money.  The  prey  is  captured  much  sooner 
When  it  is  taken  by  several  hands. 



My  Lord,  Although  I  Strum  and  Sing 
Sire  citens,  j'ai  viele 

My  Lord,  although  I  strum  and  sing 
For  you  and  all  your  company, 

olin  Muset  139 

Not  so  much  as  a  ha'penny 
Has  yet  repaid  my  offering. 
My  Lord,  for  shame! 
Thus,  by  the  Virgin  shall  I  swear 
To  quit  your  hire.  My  purse  is  bare; 
Alas,  alack,  my  sack's  the  same! 

My  loyalty  no  bounds  would  know, 
If  only  my  obedience 
Were  crowned  with  worthy  recompense, 
Would  you,  My  Lord,  some  boon  bestow, 

And  handsomely! 
For  when  I  venture  home,  unpaid, 
I  cannot  pass  the  ambuscade: 
My  wife  is  there  to  welcome  me! 

"Well,  Master  Dolt!  (Thus  she  descends 
Upon  me!)  So!  You  dare  come  in 
With  empty  hands!  Where  have  you  been? 
Carousing  with  your  scurvy  friends 

All  round  about! 
See  how  your  sack  hangs  airily! 
Oh,  fie  on  the  society 
That  suffers  such  a  knavish  lout!" 

But  when  I  have  a  better  day 

And  homeward  come,  she  sees  the  sack 

Heavily  hanging  on  my  back, 

Well  filled,  and  me  in  garments  gray, 

Splendidly  dressed; 
Then  does  she  lay  her  spinning  staff 
Aside,  and  with  a  hearty  laugh 
Presses  me  warmly  to  her  breast. 

My  sack  she  empties  in  a  trice. 

My  kitchen-wench,  the  while,  makes  haste 

To  cook  two  capons  to  my  taste, 

Served  up  with  garlic-sauce  and  spice. 

Scarce  have  I  from  my  horse  alit 

140  Northern  France 

Than  comes  my  groom  to  water  it. 

My  daughter,  then, 
(A  comely  lass)  brings  me  my  comb. 
And  so  I  reign  within  my  home, 
Indeed  the  lordliest  of  men! 



His  Poverty 
La  Pauvrete 

I  do  not  know  where  to  begin, 

Except  to  boldly  ask,  and  in 

God's  name,  frank  king  of  France,  you  see 

How  you  may  treat  me  as  your  kin, 

In  gracious  charity,  and  win 

Grace  for  thus  ending  misery. 

One  act  of  kindness  cannot  sate 

The  donor,  and  my  debt  is  great: 

No  one  will  credit  poverty. 

You  have  been  far  away  of  late; 

My  earnest  pleas  were  forced  to  wait; 

And  I  need  help  most  desperately. 

The  home  I  had  I  cannot  claim, 
For  sickness  and  hunger  came 
And  banished  me  to  beggary. 
My  former  friends  are  friends  in  name: 
I  asked  for  alms;  they  dispensed  blame 
And  bad  advice  too  lavishly. 
Each  husbands  wisely  lest  his  own 
Possessions  die.  Good  king,  my  moan 
Must  reach,  through  Afric  savagery 
And  heathendom,  your  absent  throne. 
Absence  has  harmed  me,  left  me  alone, 
And  death  has  robbed  me  willfully. 


If  it  should  be,  great  king,  you  lack 
All  that  I  need — even  a  sack 
On  which  to  rest  a  weary  head 
(The  straw  I  lie  on  breaks  my  back 
And  ribs;  a  straw  bed  is  a  rack) — 
Then  I  might  just  as  well  be  dead. 
If  I  may  your  attention  hold, 
Sire,  I  am  dying  of  the  cold; 
Hungry  and  frozen,  I  must  tread 
The  road  from  here  to  Senlis — old, 
Forgotten,  homeless,  without  gold; 
No  one  so  poor;  my  cloak  a  shred. 

In  Paris,  sire,  riches  surround 

A  misery  that  knows  no  bound; 

I  lack  a  coin  for  daily  bread. 

With  poverty  my  head  is  crowned: 

This  is  the  largesse  that  I  found 

In  St.  Paul's  words,  which  once  I  read. 

These  are  the  times  that  almost  shake 

Man's  faith,  his  emptied  spirit  break; 

I  beg  a  father  with  that  dread 

I  pray  Our  Father  not  forsake 

My  trust.  Credo;  no  credit  take. — 

Now  I  lack  paper,  as  my  plaint  is  sped. 


His  Repentance 
La  Repentance 

Now  must  I  disown  poesy, 
For  I  confess  full  wretchedly 
That  I  have  practiced  it  too  long; 
And  sorely  does  it  grieve  my  heart 
That  never  have  I  turned  my  art 
To  praise  the  Lord  in  sacred  song. 

142  Northern  France 

But  rather  have  I  tuned  my  voice 
To  accents  of  a  different  choice, 
For  naught  but  worldly  mirth  outspun 
My  rhymes.  Oh!  Virgin  Mother  mild, 
Thou  who  hast  borne  the  Holy  Child, 
Pray  for  me,  else  I  am  undone. 

Alas!  Too  late  do  I  repent 
The  folly  of  a  life  ill  spent 
In  idleness,  iniquity, 
And  earthly  joys.  Yet  if  I  dare 
Confess  my  sins,  my  soul  lay  bare, 
Even  the  just  will  shrink  from  me. 
I  filled  my  belly  well,  but  not 
With  what  my  labors  had  begot. 
Worldly  success  is  falsehood's  kin! 
And  if  I  claim  that  ignorance 
Alone  kept  me  from  penitence, 
I  see  no  hope  of  Heaven  therein. 

No  hope  of  Heaven!  Alas!  Yet  why 
Lament?  The  wrong  is  mine.  Did  I 
Not  take  God's  priceless  offering, 
Intelligence?  Was  I  not  wrought 
In  His  own  image?  Did  He  not 
(Most  precious  gift!)  suffer  the  sting 
Of  death,  to  save  my  soul?  Did  He 
Not  grant  me  the  ability 
To  outwit  the  Malevolent, 
Accursed  jailor  who  would  fain 
Add  my  soul  to  his  dark  domain 
Of  ransomless  imprisonment? 

In  fleshly  joys  I  spent  my  time, 
Singing  my  song,  rhyming  my  rhyme, 
To  please  some  with  my  calumny 
Of  others.  Thus  the  King  of  Sin 
Has  chosen  me  to  dwell  within 
His  realm  for  all  Eternity. 


And  if  the  Maid  of  Innocence 
Ignores  my  suppliant  penitence, 
Then  has  my  evil  heart  a  wealth 
Of  grief  bestowed  upon  me,  nor 
Shall  any  human  art  restore 
My  sickly  soul  to  holy  health. 

There  is  a  Doctoress  whose  skills 

In  healing  mankind's  mortal  ills 

Surpass  the  cures  of  Lyons'  sage 

Physicians,  and  those  of  Vienne. 

Her  art  is  infinite;  for  when 

She  would  your  suffering  assuage, 

No  wound  resists  her  surgery. 

She  cleansed  the  sainted  Mary,  she 

In  Egypt  born,  and  to  the  King 

Of  Heaven  rendered  her  free  from  stain. 

Oh!  could  my  wretched  soul  but  gain 

The  solace  of  her  comforting! 

Alike,  the  stout  and  weak  must  die. 
What  consolation,  then,  can  I 
Expect?  What  bulwark  can  I  raise 
Against  this  enemy?  I  see 
No  one  so  sound  and  strong  that  he 
Can  long  endure;  Death  lays 
Him  sharply  down.  No  age  is  spared: 
The  young  are  with  the  old  ensnared 
In  Death's  unyielding  grasp.  And  when 
Our  bodies  are  to  dust  restored, 
Then  stand  our  souls  before  the  Lord 
To  answer  for  our  flaws  as  men. 

Now  I  have  reached  the  end,  outworn 
With  all  the  sins  my  soul  has  borne. 
God  grant  I  be  not  yet  without 
Salvation!  For,  unceasingly 
Did  I  compound  my  infamy; 
And  I  have  heard  it  said  about: 

144  Northern  France 

"Long-smolcTring  fires  burn  hot!"  I  thought 
I  could  deceive  Deceit;  I  sought 
To  vanquish  him.  Nay,  not  a  whit! 
He  reigns  supreme,  and  I  retreat, 
Leaving  this  life,  in  dark  defeat, 
To  anyone  who  prizes  it. 


The  Dispute  of  Chariot  and  the  Barber 
La  Desfutoison  de  Chariot  et  du  Barhier 

One  day  as  I  was  going 

To  St.  Martin  of  Auxerre 

Early  in  the  morning 

Before  I  like  to  rise 

I  came  upon  Chariot 

Half-way  up  the  road 

Holding  the  barbers  hand 

Yet  it  was  plain  as  day 

That  they  were  not  first  cousins. 

Their  jokes  about  each  other 

Were  coarse,  and  very  true : 

"Chariot,  you're  up  to  mischief 

To  make  some  Christian  rue 

Your  perfidy  and  treason 

For  everyone's  aware  . 

You  only  curse  to  swear 

And  have  no  shame  at  all." 

"Barber,  by  the  suburb 

Where  you  ply  your  hairy  trade, 

Your  gout  is  on  the  rampage, 

It  never  stops  a  day; 

St.  Lazarus  got  after  you 

And  lepered  up  your  face. 

If  you  want  the  plague  to  spare  you, 

Don't  scorn  his  holy  place." 

"Chariot,  by  good  St.  James, 


I'd  swear  you  found  a  wife. 

Is  she  some  poor  defective 

The  rabbi  gave  away? 

You  believe  as  much  in  Our  Lady 

Whose  virginity's  astray 

As  I  believe  a  she-ass  has  a  soul; 

You  don't  love  God  or  Holy  Church." 

"Razorless,  scissorless  Barber, 

You  can't  cut  hair  or  shave. 

You  have  no  towels  or  basins 

Or  water-heater  paid. 

You're  simply  good  for  nothing 

But  chewing  off  my  ear. 

If  you  were  overseas,  or  started  off,  I'd  say 

Maybe  he'll  do  well  on  the  crusades." 

"Chariot,  you  know  all  laws, 

You're  Jew  and  Christian  both, 

Strutting  knight  and  townsman, 

Or  grizzly  priest  of  old. 

You're  mackerel  and  fishing, 

That's  what  the  old  folks  say: 

By  your  jokes,  you  often  couple 

Young  blood  that  needs  a  fling." 

"Barber,  the  time  has  come 

To  call  a  spade  a  spade: 

Your  hair  will  turn  snow-white 

Before  you  quit  that  trade. 

But  you'll  die  poor  and  naked 

You're  slipping  down  the  stream : 

If  people  say  I'm  pimping, 

They'll  say  you  go  between." 

"Chariot,  Chariot,  my  handsome  friend, 

You  condescend  to  children  of  the  king. 

If  you're  in  the  palace,  who  put  you  there? 

You're  there  as  much  as  I. 

You've  learned  to  act  half-crazy 

You've  greased  your  palms  with  gold 

And  money's  even  crazier  for  you." 

"Barber,  now  the  currants 

And  bushes  are  in  thorn: 

146  Northern  France 

And  here's  some  news  you'll  relish: 
Your  forehead's  sprouting  horns. 
It  looks  as  if  scarlet  berries 
Have  ripened  on  your  face: 
They'll  turn  a  pretty  crimson 
Before  you're  dragged  away." 
"It's  not  a  touch  of  leprosy, 
Chariot,  it's  just  pink  gout, 
I  swear  by  St.  Marie; 
You  don't  love  her  for  anything; 
You  have  more  faith  in  Jewry 
Than  in  him  who  by  his  power 
Unbolts  the  gates  of  hell." 
"Yet  nonetheless  if  Rutebeuf 
Who's  known  us  these  ten  years 
Would  like  to  make  new  ditties, 
Providing  we  can  get  him 
To  judge  the  matter  fairly 
And  only  tell  the  truth, 
Then,  if  you  like,  he'll  choose 
The  better  of  us  two." 
"Lord,  by  the  faith  I  owe  you, 
I  can't  choose  which  is  best 
But  only  who's  less  evil 
From  him  who's  really  worst. 
Chariot's  not  worth  a  sneeze, 
If  you  insist  on  truth, 
He  has  no  more  belief  or  faith 
Than  a  dog  that  drags  a  corpse. 
The  barber  knows  good  people 
He  serves  and  honors  well 
And  splurges  heart  and  money 
To  please  from  here  to  hell. 
He  knows  his  job  so  wholly 
That  should  the  need  arise 
With  flaming  checks  and  phallus 
I  Ie'll  serve  you  for  a  price." 


Adam  de  La  Halle  147 

To  the  Virgin 
De  la  Chanson  de  Nostre  Dame 

As  the  fair  sun  touches  the  earth  each  day, 

Probing  each  pane 

And  warming  every  room, 

And  undimmed  brightnesses  in  every  ray 

Fall  yet  remain, 

So  in  the  Virgin's  womb 

She  carried  God,  and  fed 

Him  whom  she  nourished: 

Sun,  Son;  His  life,  and  hers, 

Gives  and  is  given,  confers 

The  light  and  warmth  of  Him 

Which  never  dim. 



So  Much  the  More  as  I  Draw  near  My  Land 
De  tant  com  "plus  approime  mon  pais 

So  much  the  more  as  I  draw  near  my  land 
does  love  renew,  and  all  its  bonds  invoke; 
and  things  appear  more  fair  as  I  approach 
and  sweeter  air  blows  upon  gentler  folk. 

Having  been  exiled  long — 
yet  never  in  thought — 
for  old-times'  sake  I  sought 
converse  with  honored  ladies,  here; 
and  found  in  one  of  them  a  grace 
recalling  my  old  Lady's  face; 
and  this  had  charm  to  make  me  find 
delight  in  her  fair  countenance. 

Thus  does  the  tigress  when  her  cub  is  seized, 
gulled  by  her  own  reflection  in  a  glass, 

148  Northern  France 

think  she  has  found  the  very  thing  she  sought, 
and  from  her  lets  its  captor  freely  pass. 

Do  not  pass  thus  from  me, 

Oh  Lady  dear, 

nor  put  me  from  your  mind 

for  my  long  tarrying  here. 

It  is  through  memory  of  you 

that  in  a  likeness  I  forget 

myself;  for  all  in  you  are  set 

my  heart  and  my  hope's  sustenance. 


To  All  My  Dainty  Loves,  Goodbye 
A  Dieu  comant  amourettes 

To  all  my  dainty  loves,  goodbye, 

for  I  depart 

against  my  will  into  a  foreign  land. 

Sweet  things,  I  leave  with  bitter  sigh 

and  heavy  heart 

to  all  my  dainty  loves,  goodbye. 

You  should  be  little  queens  if  I 
played  the  king's  part 
and  could  command. 

To  all  my  dainty  loves,  goodbye, 

for  I  depart 

against  my  will  into  a  foreign  land. 


cob  Bar  Juda,  Hazak  149 

All  Too  Much  I  Long  to  See 
Trop  desk  a  voir 

All  too  much  I  long  to  see 
her  I  prize. 

I  cannot  change  or  turn  away: 
all  too  much  I  long  to  see; 

both  by  night  and  by  day 
poor  heart  cries: 
all  too  much  I  long  to  see 
her  I  prize. 


Love  and  My  Lady,  Too 
Amours  et  ma  Dame  aussi 

Love  and  my  Lady,  too, 
hands-joined,  for  favor's  grace  I  sue; 
from  your  great  beauty  springs  my  rue, 
Love  and  my  Lady,  too. 

Hands-joined,  for  favor's  grace  I  sue. 
if  prayer  can  no  pity  woo, 
from  your  great  beauty  springs  my  rue, 
Love  and  my  Lady,  too. 


lCOB  bar  juda,  hazak 

Sorely  Tried  Is  Israel,  the  Hapless  Folk 
Mont  sont  a  mecchief  lsr[ael],  Veegaree  gent 

Sorely  tried  is  Israel,  the  hapless  folk, 
And  not  to  blame  if  overcome  by  rage, 

150  Northern  France 

For  many  a  valiant,  wise,  and  gentle  man 

Was  burned,  who  could  not  buy  his  life  with  silver. 

Our  joy  has  fled,  and  with  it  our  delight 

In  those  who  studied  Scripture  night  and  day 

And  pursued  their  task  without  respite: 

Now  they  are  burnt  and  dead:  each  acknowledged  God. 

From  the  wicked  people  this  outrage  came: 
Well  may  we  change  our  color  pale  or  bright: 
Lord!  Take  pity  and  hear  our  cries,  our  tears! 
For  naught  have  we  lost  many  an  upright  man. 

To  the  stake  was  led  Rab  Isaac  of  Chatillon 

Who  for  God  left  flush  with  rents  and  houses. 

He  returns  to  God.  Rich  was  he  in  properties, 

Good  author  of  comments  on  the  Talmud  and  the  Bible. 

When  his  noble  wife  saw  her  husband  burn, 

The  loss  hit  her  hard:  she  screamed  with  all  her  might: 

"I  will  die  the  death  my  lover  died!" 

She  was  great  with  child;  her  suffering  was  great. 

Then  her  sons  were  burned,  one  big,  one  small. 
The  younger,  startled  by  the  rising  flames, 
Cried,  "Haro,  I'm  burning  up!"  And  the  elder: 
"You'll  go  to  Paradise,  I  promise  that." 

The  daughter-in-law  was  so  fair,  they  sent  for  a  priest: 
"We'll  give  you  a  squire  who'll  hold  you  very  dear." 
Then  she  started  spitting  in  their  face: 
"I  won't  leave  God— you  can  flay  me  alive!" 

With  one  voice  all  together  their  song  rose 

loud    and    clear 
Like  celebrants  performing  at  a  feast; 
Their  hands  were  tied;  they  could  not  dance; 
Never  did  men  leave  life  so  well. 

cob  Bar  Juda,  Hazak  151 

A  bridegroom  was  dragged  swiftly  to  the  fire 
And  sang  the  prayer  of  sanctity  on  high: 
He  gave  the  others  courage;  well  born  was  he, 
Samson  by  name,  son-in-law  of  the  Scribe. 

After  him  came  Solomon;  a  victim  highly  prized 

Who,  thrown  into  the  fire  now  ablaze, 

Did  not  deny  his  body  to  the  Lord, 

But  suffered  death  for  love  of  Him,  prepared. 

The  wicked  hangman  frowned  and  burned  them  all 

One  after  the  other.  Then  spoke  a  saint: 

"Stoke  it  higher,  wicked  man!"  And  the  hangman  dared 

to  curse  him. 
It  was  beautiful,  the  death  of  Baruch  d'Avirey. 

A  noble  man  there  was,  who  then  began  to  weep, 

And  said:  "I  weep  for  my  poor  children, 

Not  myself."  They  burned  him  on  the  spot. 

It  was  Simon,  the  Scribe,  who  always  prayed  so  well. 

Preachers  came  and  fetched  Rab  Isaac  Cohen : 
"Let  him  abjure,  or  he  will  perish,  too." 
He  said:  "What  are  you  asking?  I  want  to  die  for  God. 
I  am  a  Cohen.1 1  give  my  body  unto  God." 

"You  can't  escape.  We've  got  you. 
Become  a  Christian."  And  he  answered,  "No! 
For  dogs  I  won't  forsake  His  Holy  Name." 
He  was  called  Haiim,2  the  master  of  Brinon. 

Another  saint3  was  now  brought  to  the  pyre: 
They  stirred  slow  flames  until  they  flickered  high 
With  all  his  heart  he  called  to  God  and  prayed 
And  suffered  torture  sweetly  in  His  Name. 

^ohen  ==  priest,  in  Hebrew.  2  Haiim  =  Living,  in  Hebrew. 

3  Kadosh  =  saint,  usually  in  the  sense  of  martyr. 

I52  Northern  France 

Vengeful  God,  jealous  God,  avenge  us  on  the  wicked! 
Waiting  for  Thy  vengeance,  day  ne'er  seems  to  end! 

When  we  sit  in  our  houses  and  walk  by  the  way 

We  are  prepared  and  ready 

To  pray  with  all  our  hearts. 

Answer  us,  Lord,  we  beseech  Thee! 



As  Lilies  White,  More  Crimson  Than  the  Rose 
Blanche  com  lys,  flus  que  rose  vermeille 

As  lilies  white,  more  crimson  than  the  rose, 
Resplendent  as  a  ruby  from  the  East, 
Your  beauty  is;  now  as  I  gaze  it  glows 
As  lilies  white,  more  crimson  than  the  rose; 
My  senses  are  ravished  and  my  spirit  knows 
Her  it  must  serve,  by  love's  law  unreleased: 
As  lilies  white,  more  crimson  than  the  rose, 
Resplendent  as  a  ruby  from  the  East. 


If  I  Must  Feel  Your  Wrath  Eternally 
Se  vos  courrous  me  dure  longuement 

If  I  must  feel  your  wrath  eternally, 

I  fear  my  days  their  waning  measure  spend. 

Thus  will  you  see  me  perish  wretchedly 
If  I  must  feel  your  wrath  eternally. 

So  grows  my  passion,  unrelentingly, 
That  life  itself  is  yours,  to  add  or  end. 

Guillaume  de  Machaut  153 

If  I  must  feel  your  wrath  eternally, 

I  fear  my  days  their  waning  measure  spend. 


Rich  in  Love  and  Beggar  to  My  Heart 
Riches  d'amour  et  meridians  d'amie 

Rich  in  love  and  beggar  to  my  heart 
Poor  in  hope  and  surging  with  desire 
Full  of  grief  and  destitute  of  help 
Far  from  pity,  greedy  for  renown, 
Love  makes  me  so,  and  I  fear  death 
When  my  lady  hates  and  I  adore  her. 

I  feel  no  balm  is  curative 

However  far  I  seek  it: 

For  love  so  blossoms  here  within 

That  I  can't  revel  or  repent  it. 

I  can't  find  death  or  happiness 

Or  treasure,  short  of  grief, 

When  my  lady  hates  and  I  adore  her. 

But  the  wish  for  my  sweet  enemy 
Will  gladly,  humbly  suffer, 
For  great's  the  honor  done  to  me 
Despite  her,  when  I  love  her. 
And  if  love  wills  my  mortal  end 
For  cherishing,  naught  better, 
When  my  lady  hates  and  I  adore  her. 


154  Northern  France 

I  Curse  the  Hour,  the  Moment  and  the  Day 
)e  maudis  Veure  et  le  temps  et  le  jour 

I  curse  the  hour,  the  moment  and  the  day, 

The  week,  the  place,  the  month,  the  tide,  the  year, 

And  the  twin  eyes  which  fell  a  willing  prey 

To  that  fair  lady  who  hath  killed  my  cheer. 

I  curse  my  heart,  too,  and  my  thought,  my  sheer 

Loyalty  and  desire  and  love  whose  sway 

Abandons  to  its  perilous  dismay 

My  grieving  heart  in  this  strange  country  here. 

I  curse  the  welcome,  the  allure,  the  gay 

Grace  of  the  glance  mine  heart  hath  grown  to  fear, 

Which  love  and  passion  now  do  burn  and  flay, 

I  curse  her  hour  of  birth,  her  insincere 

Mock  semblance  and  her  falsity  made  clear, 

Her  monstrous  pride  and  harshness  which  betray 

No  wraith  of  tenderness  that  might  allay 

My  grieving  heart  in  this  strange  country  here. 

And  I  curse  Fortune  and  her  traitorous  way, 
The  planet  and  the  lore  and  the  career 
Which  led  my  foolish  heart  so  far  astray 
That,  loving  her,  I  held  her  service  dear. 
Yet  pray  I  God  maintain  her  fame  austere, 
To  guard  her  goods  and  land  and  honor  aye, 
To  grant  her  His  forgiveness  who  did  slay 
My  grieving  heart  in  this  strange  country  here. 


Strike  Down  My  Heart  with  But  a  Single  Blow 
Faites  mon  cuer  tout  a  un  couf  morir 

Strike  down  my  heart  with  but  a  single  blow; 

Miladv,  let  this  be  my  recompense, 


Guillciume  de  Machaut  155 

Since  you  have  naught  of  pleasure  to  bestow. 
Strike  down  my  heart  with  but  a  single  blow, 

For  better  thus,  than  to  endure  my  woe, 
Hopeless  of  cure,  bereft  of  my  defense. 
Strike  down  my  heart  with  but  a  single  blow; 
Milady,  let  this  be  my  recompense. 


Milady,  Comely,  Candid,  Worldly-Wise 
Douce  dame,  cointe,  afferte  et  jolie 

Milady,  comely,  candid,  worldly-wise, 
With  all  my  soul  I  wish  to  serve  you  well. 

Fie,  fie  on  arrant  fool  who  "folly"  cries — 
Milady,  comely,  candid,  worldly-wise — 

When  thus  your  sweet  enchantments  tyrannize 
My  heart,  happy  in  servitude  to  dwell. 
Milady,  comely,  candid,  worldly-wise, 
With  all  my  soul  I  wish  to  serve  you  well. 


Open  Your  Eyes,  Milady,  Run  Me  Through 
Partues  moy  a  Vouvrir  de  vos  yeux 

Open  your  eyes,  Milady,  run  me  through, 
You  who  feel  no  compassion  for  my  pain! 

If  I  can  earn  no  kinder  fate  from  you, 
Open  your  eyes,  Milady,  run  me  through. 

Alas,  I  fear  you  can  naught  better  do 
For  hopeless  love.  Give  ear  to  my  refrain: 

156  Northern  France 

"Open  your  eyes,  Milady,  run  me  through, 
You  who  feel  no  compassion  for  my  pain!" 


Ah!  How  I  Fear,  Milady,  Lest  I  Die 
De  morir  sui  pour  vous  en  grant  yaour 

Ah!  how  I  fear,  Milady,  lest  I  die 
For  love  of  you  and  for  my  eagerness; 

Your  willing  subject,  nay,  your  slave  am  I. 
Ah!  how  I  fear,  Milady,  lest  I  die. 

For  when  I  may  not  cast  my  anxious  eye 
Upon  your  all-alluring  comeliness, 
Ah!  how  I  fear,  Milady,  lest  I  die 
For  love  of  you  and  for  my  eagerness. 



Be  Gallant,  Mannerlie  and  Pure  of  Heart 
Ales  le  coer  courtois  et  honnourable 

Be  gallant,  mannerlie  and  pure  of  heart, 

Meek  and  discreet,  tacit  and  fraught  with  glee, 

Sincere  and  moderate;  for  thine  high  part 

Be  gallant,  mannerlie  and  pure  of  heart. 

Do  as  may  be,  indifferent  of  art, 

Then  love  and  ladys  fair  shall  pity  thee. 

Be  gallant,  mannerlie  and  pure  of  heart. 


Jean  Froissart  157 

0  Love,  O  Love,  What  Wouldst  Thou  Make  of  Me? 
Amours,  Amours,  que  voles  de  mot  faire? 

0  Love,  O  Love,  what  wouldst  thou  make  of  me 
Who  in  thee  find  naught  save  extravagance? 

1  know  thee  not  nor  what  thy  traffick  be. 

O  Love,  O  Love,  what  wouldst  thou  make  of  me? 
Silence,  speech,  prayer — which  choose  I  of  these  three? 
Make  answer,  thou,  whose  ways  are  of  fair  chance! 
O  Love,  O  Love,  what  wouldst  thou  make  of  me? 


Of  All  Known  Flowers,  Men  Hold  the 

Rose  Most  Rare 
Sus  toutes  fleurs  tient  on  la  rose  a  belle 

Of  all  known  flowers,  men  hold  the  rose  most  rare, 

And,  after  it,  I  think,  the  violet; 

Lilies  are  proud,  corncockles  debonair, 

The  lofty  gladiol  is  comelier  yet; 

Many  a  wight  treasures  the  columbine 

Or  deems  the  lily-of-the-valley  fine, 

Or  prizeth  peonies,  since  all  are  sweet; 

But  for  mine  heart,  one  choice  alone  is  mine: 

Of  all  known  flowers,  I  love  the  Marguerite. 

Let  rain  or  hail  or  hoarfrost  fill  the  air, 
And  be  the  season  dry  or  harsh  or  wet, 
This  flower  is  ever  gracile,  fresh  and  fair, 
All  dainty,  pink-and-white,  earth's  amoret, 
Perfect  in  bud,  in  blossoming  divine, 
Never  to  pale,  to  perish,  or  to  pine; 
For  him  who  reads  the  writ  upon  its  sheet, 
Kindness  and  beauty  rise  from  every  line. 
Of  all  known  flowers,  I  love  the  Marguerite. 

158  Northern  France 

As  I  recall  this  flower,  excess  of  care 
Burdens  my  soul,  for  how  shall  I  forget 
Its  heart,  a  stronghold,  with  that  turret  where 
Rise  obstacles  I  ceaselessly  beset? 
Daylong,  nightlong,  I  seek  to  countermine, 
Yet  will  her  love  not  forward  my  design 
Nor  yield  one  sconce  or  fort  though  I  repeat 
Attack  upon  attack  to  storm  this  shrine  .  .  . 
Of  all  known  flowers,  I  love  the  Marguerite. 



Lover,  as  God  May  Comfort  Me 
Amy  si  Dieu  me  confort 

Lover,  Lover,  as  God  may  comfort  me, 

So  shalt  thou  boast  my  heart  and  soul, 

In  that  I  love  thee  mightily. 

Lover,  as  God  may  comfort  me, 

Lay  care  by  and  anxiety 

Since  thine  I  am,  entire  and  whole — 

Lover,  as  God  may  comfort  me, 

So  shalt  thou  boast  my  heart  and  soul. 


Without  My  Heart,  Love,  Thou  Shalt  Not  Depart 
Sans  coeur  de  my  fas  vous  ne  fartirez 

Without  my  heart,  love,  thou  shalt  not  depart, 
Nay  but  thy  leman's  heart  shall  go  with  thee 
To  lie  deep  in  thee  wheresoe'er  thou  art — 
Without  my  heart,  love,  thou  shalt  not  depart. 
Well  shalt  thou  harbor  it  from  duel  or  smart 
And  dearly  prize  thine  own  for  company  .  .  . 

Eustache  Deschamps  159 

Without  my  heart,  love,  thou  shalt  not  depart, 
Nay  but  thy  leman's  heart  shall  go  with  thee. 



One  Day  the  Rats  of  All  Degrees 

Je  treuve  quentre  les  souris 

One  day  the  rats  of  all  degree 
Convened  in  wondrous  parliament 
Against  the  cats,  their  foe,  to  see 
How  to  contrive,  as  matters  went, 
To  live  securelv.  This  intent 
Inspired  much  speech  of  this  and  that, 
Till  one  remarked  in  argument: 
"Which  one  of  us  shall  bell  the  cat?" 

Since  none  was  found  to  disagree, 
They  voted  to  adjourn,  content, 
Then  met  a  lowland  mouse.  As  he 
Asked  news  of  what  was  imminent, 
They  vaunted  their  accomplishment: 
Their  foe,  beguiled  and  vanquished,  at 
His  neck  a  bell,  was  impotent! 
Which  one  of  us  shall  bell  the  cat? 

A  gray  rat  ventured:  "As  for  me, 
I  find  this  hard  of  management!" 
'Who  shall  our  gallant  savior  be?" 
The  mouse  inquired.  Incontinent, 
Each  one  begged  off  with  eloquent 
Excuses,  and  the  plan  fell  flat, 
Though  all  joined  in  the  sentiment: 
Which  one  of  us  shall  bell  the  cat? 

Prince,  counsel  may  be  excellent, 

160  Northern  France 

But  very  often,  like  the  rat, 
We  had  best  look  to  the  event: 
"Which  one  of  us  shall  bell  the  cat?" 


But  Is  There  No  Flower,  Perfume  or  Violet? 
Or,  nest-il  fleur,  odeur  ne  violete? 

But  is  there  no  flower,  perfume  or  violet, 
Tree  or  eglantine,  however  sweet  within, 
Beauty  or  kindness,  however  perfect  a  thing, 
Man  or  woman,  however  fair  or  gentle, 
Curly  or  blond,  strong,  frank  or  lovely, 
Wise  or  foolish,  that  by  Nature  has  been  made, 
Which  in  its  time  will  not  be  old  or  stale, 
Which  in  the  end  death  will  not  pursue, 
And  when  old,  will  not  lose  its  fame? 
Old  age  is  final,  youth  is  the  time  of  grace. 

The  perfumed  flower  of  May  delights  all  men 
Who  smell  it,  but  for  little  more  than  a  day, 
For  in  a  moment  comes  the  waiting  wind 
And  makes  it  fall,  or  cuts  it  into  two; 
The  lives  of  trees  and  people  pass  like  this, 
Nothing  stable  by  Nature  is  decreed: 
All  things  must  die  that  have  been  born; 
A  poor  access  of  fever  snuffs  out  man, 
Or  old  age,  whose  limits  have  been  set. 
Old  age  is  final,  youth  is  the  time  of  grace. 

How  then  can  any  maid  or  mistress  do 
So  great  a  harm  unto  her  lover's  love 
When  they  will  wither  all,  as  grass  beneath 
Our  feet?  It  is  pure  madness.  Why  don't  we  then 
Have  pity  on  each  other?  When  all  are  rotten — 
Both  those  who  never  loved  and  those  who  did — 

Eustache  Deschamps  161 

Those  who  refused  will  be  proclaimed  weak, 
And  those  who  gave  will  have  rosy  faces, 
And  their  fame  will  spread  throughout  the  world. 
Old  age  is  final,  youth  is  the  time  of  grace. 

Prince,  each  man  in  his  youthful  age 
Should  grasp  the  time  that  is  allotted  it. 
When  old  he  should  do  the  contrary  things. 
So  both  ages  will  be  dear  to  him, 
Nor  will  he  be  too  proud  when  he's  in  love. 
Old  age  is  final,  youth  is  the  time  of  grace. 


Am  I,  Am  I,  Am  I  Fair? 
Suis-je,  suis-je,  suis-je  belle? 

Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

It  seems  as  far  as  I  can  tell 

My  brow  is  fair,  my  face  is  sweet. 

And  my  mouth  is  red  and  neat; 

Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

I  have  green  eyes  and  small  eyebrows, 
My  nose  is  delicate  and  blond  my  hair, 
My  chin  is  round,  my  throat  is  white; 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

My  breasts  are  firm  and  carried  high, 
My  arms  are  long,  my  fingers  slim, 
And  my  waist  is  small  and  trim; 
Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

I  have  tiny  rounded  feet, 

Good  shoes  and  pretty  clothes  I  wear, 

I  am  gay  and  full  of  mirth; 

Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

1 62  Northern  France 

I  have  cloaks  fur-lined  in  gray, 
I  have  hats  and  trimmings  fine, 
I  have  many  a  silver  pin; 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

I've  silken  sheets  and  tapestry, 

I've  sheets  of  white  and  beige  and  gold, 

Many  a  dainty  thing  I  hold; 

Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

I'm  fifteen  only,  I  tell  you; 
Many  my  pretty  treasures  are 
If  I  keep  the  key  with  care; 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

Those  who  would  be  my  friends 
Must  indeed  be  brave 
If  such  a  maid  they'd  have; 
Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

Before  God,  I  promise  too, 
That  if  I  live  I'll  be  most  true 
To  him — if  I  don't  falter; 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

If  he  be  courteous  and  kind, 
Valiant,  well  read  and  gay, 
He  shall  always  have  his  way; 
Tell  me  if  I'm  fair. 

It  is  an  earthly  paradise 
To  have  a  woman  always  near 
Who  is  so  blossoming  and  fresh; 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 

Among  yourselves,  faint-hearts, 
Think  on  what  I  say; 

Christine  de  Pisan  163 

Here  ends  my  virelay : 
Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair? 


:hristine  de  pisan 

Ye  Gods!  of  Time  I  Am  Weary 
He  Dieux!  que  le  temps  m'anuyel 

Ye  gods!  of  time  I  am  weary, 

A  day  seems  like  a  week; 

Than  the  winter's  rain  more  dreary 

This  season  weighs  on  me. 

Alas,  I  have  an  ague, 

With  dizziness  it  fills  me, 

And  loads  with  sorrow  too: 

This,  sickness  does  to  me. 

More  bitter  than  sweat  is  my  taste, 
My  color's  unhealthy  and  pale; 
I  need  support  when  I  cough, 
And  my  breath  does  often  fail. 
And  when  the  fever  takes  me, 
So  little  strength  I  feel, 
I  can  only  drink  herb  tea: 

This,  sickness  does  to  me. 

To  escape  I've  no  intent, 
For  when  I  walk,  'tis  little, 
And  not  a  league's  extent; 
But  in  a  crowded  room 
They  still  must  make  me  stay; 
And:  "Support  me,  I  am  weak/' 
I  often  need  to  say. 

This,  sickness  does  to  me. 

Doctors,  I'm  full  of  ills, 
Cure  me,  I'm  bereft 

164  Northern  France 

Of  health,  which  is  far  from  me. 
This,  sickness  does  to  me. 


You  Have  Done  So  Much  by  Your 

Great  Gentleness 
Tant  avez  fait  far  votre  grant  doulgor 

You  have  done  so  much  by  your  great  gentleness, 

Most  gentle  friend,  that  you  have  conquered  me, 

No  longer  may  I  cry  out  or  protest, 

Nor  will  there  be  defenses  set  by  me, 

For  love  commands  by  gentle  mastery, 

And  I  too  wish  it;  for,  so  God  help  me, 

'Tis  madness,  after  all,  should  I  consider 

Refusing  one  who  loves  so  graciously. 
And  I  have  hope  that  there  is  so  much  worth 
In  you,  that  my  love  shall  well  seated  be; 
As  for  beauty,  grace  and  all  honor, 
There  is  so  much  that  there  should  rightly  be 
Enough,  if  it  be  right  to  choose  you  above 
All,  when  you  deserve  to  have  much  more; 
So  were  I  wrong,  when  so  much  does  persuade  me, 

Refusing  one  who  loves  so  graciously. 

If  my  subtle  gentle  heart  can  hold 
You  and  give  to  you  my  love,  it  begs 
That  no  deceit  or  falsehood  in  you  be, 
For  everything  subdues  me  utterly: 
Your  gentle  bearing,  your  calm  behavior, 
And  your  most  gentle,  loving,  lovely  eyes; 
So  far  would  I  be  wrong,  in  any  wise 

Refusing  one  who  loves  so  graciously. 

My  gentle  love,  whom  I  love  best,  and  prize, 
I  have  such  pleasure  telling  you  alway 

Christine  de  Pisan  165 

That  by  Reason  I  reproved  should  be 

For  refusing  one  who  loves  so  graciously. 


Alone  Am  I,  Alone  I  Wish  to  Be 
Seitlette  suis,  el  seulette  veuil  estre 

Alone  am  I,  alone  I  wish  to  be, 
Alone  my  gentle  love  has  left  me, 
Alone  am  I  without  friend  or  master, 
Alone  am  I,  in  sorrow  and  in  anger, 
Alone  am  I,  ill  at  ease,  in  languor, 
Alone  am  I,  more  lost  than  anyone, 
Alone  am  I,  left  without  a  lover. 

Alone  am  I  standing  at  door  or  window, 

Alone  am  I  in  a  corner  creeping, 

Alone  am  I  to  feed  myself  with  weeping, 

Alone  am  I  suffering  or  at  rest, 

Alone  am  I,  and  this  pleases  me  the  best, 

Alone  am  I  imprisoned  in  my  chamber, 

Alone  am  I,  left  without  a  lover. 

Alone  am  I  everywhere,  by  every  hearth, 
Alone  am  I,  wherever  I  go  or  be, 
Alone  am  I  more  than  anything  on  earth, 
Alone  am  I,  by  all  men  left  alone, 
Alone  am  I,  most  cruellv  cast  down, 
Alone  am  I  often  full  of  weeping, 
Alone  am  I,  left  without  a  lover. 

Princes,  now  has  my  pain  begun, 
Alone  am  I,  to  deepest  mourning  nigh, 
Alone  am  I,  gloomier  than  the  darkest  dye, 
Alone  am  I,  left  without  a  lover. 


1 66  Northern  France 

Now  Has  Come  the  Gracious  Month  of  May 
Or  est  venu  le  tres  gracieux  mois 

Now  has  come  the  gracious  month  of  May 
The  gay,  who  brings  such  bountiful  delights 
That  these  meadows,  bushes  and  these  woods 
Are  laden  all  with  greenery  and  flowers, 

And  each  thing  does  rejoice. 
Among  these  fields  all  blossoms  and  turns  green, 
And  nothing  there  but  does  forget  its  grief, 
For  delight  in  the  lovely  month  of  May. 

The  little  birds  sing  on  their  way  for  joy, 
With  one  heart  all  things  do  rejoice, 
Except  for  me,  alas!  My  grief  is  great 
Because  I  am  far  distant  from  my  love; 

And  I  can  feel  no  joy; 
With  the  season's  mirth  my  sorrow  grows; 
As  you  will  know  if  you  have  ever  loved, 
For  delight  in  the  lovely  month  of  May. 

And  so  with  frequent  weeping  I  must  mourn 
For  him,  from  whom  I  have  no  help; 
The  grievous  hurts  of  love  I  now  more  deeply 
Feel:  the  stings,  th'attacks,  the  tricks  and  turns, 

In  this  sweet  time  than  ever 
I  have  before;  for  all  conspires  to  change 
The  great  desire  I  once  too  strongly  felt, 
For  delight  in  the  lovely  month  of  May. 


Ah  Moon,  You  Shine  Too  Long 
He,  lune  trof  luis  longuement 

Ah  moon,  you  shine  too  long, 
You  do  the  honeyed  joys  remove, 
Given  true  lovers  by  Love. 

Christine  de  Pisan  167 

Your  brightness  does  much  wrong 

My  heart,  desiring  love; 

Ah  moon,  you  shine  too  long. 

For  you  are  too  revealing 
Of  me  and  the  sweets  of  love; 
Neither  of  us  grateful  prove. 
Ah  moon,  you  shine  too  long. 


Sweet  Lady  Fair 
Plaisant  et  belle 

Sweet  lady  fair, 
Wherein  does  rest 
My  heart,  and  where 
As  in  a  nest 
Lie  tightly  pressed 
Kindness  and  grace, 
Grant  me  thy  grace. 

More  fresh  and  clear 
Than  the  rose  is  blest, 
To  plaintive  tear 
From  me  expressed, 
Do  not  molest 
Pity's  grace; 
Grant  me  thy  grace 

Ah,  turtle  dear, 
Shy  in  thy  nest, 
I  beg  thee  fair, 
In  heart's  distress, 
I  dare  express 
My  love,  no  less; 
Grant  me  thy  grace. 

1 68  Northern  France 

So  now  unless 
Thy  heart  repress 
The  desire  I  trace, 
Grant  me  thy  grace. 


Alone  in  Martyrdom  I  Have  Been  Left 

Seulete  ma  laissie  en  grant  martyre 

Alone  in  martyrdom  I  have  been  left 

In  the  desert  of  this  world,  that's  full  of  sadness, 

By  my  sweet  love,  who  held  my  heart 

In  sorrowless  joy  and  in  perfect  gladness; 

But  he  is  dead,  and  such  deep  griefs  oppress 

Me,  my  weary  heart  such  sorrows  gnaw, 

I  shall  bewail  his  death  for  evermore. 

What  can  I  ever  do  but  weep  and  sigh  for 
My  departed  love,  what  wonder  is  this? 
For  when  my  heart  profoundly  ponders  how 
I  lived  secure  and  without  bitterness, 
Since  childhood  and  early  youthfulness 
With  him — at  me  such  sufferings  gnaw 
I  shall  bewail  his  death  for  evermore. 

As  the  turtledove  without  her  mate  does  turn 

To  dry  things  only,  nor  cares  more  for  greenness; 

As  the  ewe  that  the  wolf  seeks  to  kill 

Is  terrified,  by  her  shepherd  left  defenseless; 

So  am  I  left  in  great  distress 

By  my  dear  love  whose  loss  to  me  is  sore; 

I  shall  bewail  his  death  for  evermore. 


Christine  de  Pisan  169 

To  Sing  with  Joy  from  out  a  Sorrowing  Heart 
De  triste  cuer  chanter  joyeusement 

To  sing  with  joy  from  out  a  sorrowing  heart 
And  laugh  while  mourning,  hard  it  is  to  bear, 
To  show  the  opposite  of  all  one's  care, 
Nor  betray  a  hint  of  any  painful  smart, 

This  must  I  do,  nor  keep  myself  apart, 
But  needs  must — to  hide  my  sad  affair — 
Sing  with  joy  from  out  a  sorrowing  heart. 

For  secretly  I  carry  in  my  heart 
That  grief  that  brings  me  most  despair, 
Therefore  must  I,  to  keep  men's  silence  fair, 
Laugh  while  I  weep  and  with  bitterest  art 
Sing  with  joy  from  out  a  sorrowing  heart. 


I  Will  No  Longer  Serve  You 
]e  ne  te  veuil  flus  servir 

I  will  no  longer  serve  you, 
Love,  to  God  I  leave  you. 
You  would  too  much  subject  me 
And  pay  me  scurvily; 
Torment  for  hire  you  give  me. 
It  is  a  hard  thing  to  bear: 
I  will  not  stand  it  more. 

To  win  favor  from  you 
I  served  you  faithfully, 
But  now  cannot  continue 
Service,  for  you  grievously 
Torment  me,  so  briefly 

17°  Northern  France 

Prefer  I  to  withdraw: 
I  will  not  stand  it  more. 

Who  binds  himself  to  you 
And  gives  himself  completely, 
Then  down  and  up  does  go 
If  bid  accordingly, 
Must  do  so  painfully 
If  my  memory  is  sure. 
I  will  not  stand  it  more. 


The  Gods  and  Goddesses,  Those  Great 
Jadis  far  amours  amoient 

The  gods  and  goddesses,  those  great 

Servants  of  Love,  were  diligent, 

As  Ovid  tells,  to  celebrate 

Love's  rites — and  suffered  discontent 

And  woes  of  love.  But  true  intent 

And  faith  they  kept,  left  none  aggrieved, 

If  ancient  fables  be  believed. 

They  left  Olympus  for  some  mate 
Of  lowly  earth,  in  their  descent 
Impetuous  to  participate 
In  earthly  joys,  with  quick  consent 
Embracing  them,  indifferent 
To  costs  of  all  such  zeal  achieved 
If  ancient  fables  be  believed. 

Delights  of  love  could  subjugate 
Enchantress  and  nymph;  immortals  spent 
Time,  strength,  and  wealth  immoderate 
On  maids  and  shepherds,  earthward  went 
Bestowing  boons  munificent 

Christine  de  Pisan  171 

On  those  whose  favor  they  received 
If  ancient  fables  be  believed. 

So,  ladies,  lords,  submit,  assent 
To  love,  nor  seek  to  be  reprieved 
From  service  proved  so  excellent 
If  ancient  fables  be  believed. 


If  I'm  in  Church  More  Often  Now 
Se  souvent  vais  au  moustier 

If  I'm  in  church  more  often  now 
It's  just  that  I  can  see  her  there 
Fresh  as  new-opened  roses  are. 

Why  gossip  of  it,  why  endow 

It  with  such  consequence?  Why  stare 

[f  I'm  in  church  more  often  now? 

Where  I  may  go — or  when — or  how 
It  is  to  come  more  near  to  her. 
Fools  call  me  fool!  It's  whose  affair 
If  I'm  in  church  more  often  now? 


My  Heart  Is  Captive  to  Cray,  Laughing  Eyes 
Rians  vairs  yeidx  qui  mon  cuer  aves  fris 

My  heart  is  captive  to  gray,  laughing  eyes, 
To  the  entrapment  of  your  boldest  stare; 
The  happy  victim  of  your  sweetest  snare, 
I  give  myself  to  you,  in  willing  wise. 

172  Northern  France 

What  is  the  ransom  price  for  such  a  prize? 
One  cannot  tot  its  worth,  yet  does  not  care; 
My  heart  is  captive  to  gray,  laughing  eyes. 

You  are  so  sweet,  so  pleasant  a  surprise, 
That  no  man  lives,  however  weighed  by  care, 
In  all  the  world,  but  by  your  glance  so  rare 
Recaptures  peace,  gains  calmness  as  reprise: 
My  heart  is  captive  to  gray,  laughing  eyes. 



Most  Foolish  Fools,  Oh  Foolish  Mortal  Men 
O  folz  des  folz,  et  les  folz  mortels  hommes 

Most  foolish  fools,  oh  foolish  mortal  men 
Who  put  such  trust  in  Fortune's  merchandise 
On  this  earth,  in  this  land  where  we  live, 
Can  you  call  a  single  thing  your  own? 
There  is  nothing  here  belongs  to  you, 
Except  the  fair  gifts  of  grace  and  nature. 
If  Fortune  then,  through  some  happenstance 
Deprives  you  of  the  things  you  think  are  yours, 
She  does  no  wrong,  but  acts  with  simple  justice, 
For  you  had  nothing  the  day  that  you  were  born. 

No  longer  leave  your  naps  of  deepest  slumber 
In  your  own  bed,  by  dark  and  shadowy  night, 
To  gather  riches,  great  and  deep  in  number, 
Nor  covet  anything  beneath  the  moon, 
Nothing  between  Paris  and  Pampelune, 
But  only  that  which  every  creature  needs 
To  gain  his  livelihood,  just  that,  no  more. 
Let  it  be  enough  to  win  renown, 

Alain  Chartier  173 

And  carry  a  good  name  to  the  tomb: 

For  you  had  nothing  the  day  that  you  were  born. 

The  joyous  fruit  of  trees,  the  apples  too, 

In  the  age  when  everything  was  held  in  common, 

The  fine  honey,  the  acorns  and  the  gums 

Were  enough  and  more  for  every  man  and  woman : 

For  no  dispute  or  rancor  was  among  them. 

Be  happy  in  the  heat  and  in  the  frost, 

And  accept  Fortune,  gentle  and  secure. 

As  for  your  losses,  wear  not  deep  mourning  for  them, 

Except  in  reason,  jusdy  and  in  moderation, 

For  you  had  nothing  the  day  that  you  were  born. 

If  fortune  does  any  wrong  to  you, 

It  is  her  right,  indeed,  you  must  not  blame  her, 

Even  though  she  strip  you  of  your  shirt: 

For  you  had  nothing  the  day  that  you  were  born. 


Almighty  God,  Who  Made  the  Noble  State 
Dieu  tout  puissant,  de  qui  noblesse  vient 

Almighty  God,  who  made  the  noble  state, 
Whose  hands  have  molded  all  perfection, 
Sustained  and  nourished  all  He  did  create 
With  providential,  kind  protection, 
Ordained  for  everyone's  direction 
To  keep  in  peace  a  land  worth  such  endeavor — 
For  one,  mastery;  others,  subjection — 
Maintaining  faith,  respecting  justice  ever. 

He  who  has  highest  honor  by  dictate 
Of  heaven  and  thus  holds  domination 
Is  also  most  severely  bound  to  hate 
Lack  in  himself  of  true  affection, 

174  Northern  France 

Respectful  awe,  and  deep  devotion, 
Shame  for  all  sinful  acts  which  might  grace  sever; 
To  act  always  with  good  intention, 
Maintaining  faith,  respecting  justice  ever. 

He  thus  is  noble  who  commends  his  fate — 

With  no  false  boast,  no  self-deception — 

To  God:  obedience  a  willing  trait 

And  ways  divine  his  firm  confession. 

He  who  gives  variant  attention 

Betrays  his  noble  name,  wounds  God,  and  never 

Holds  to  a  clear-defined  profession, 

Maintaining  faith,  respecting  justice  ever. 

Lord,  serf,  rich,  poor  fall  the  possession 
Of  death  at  last,  having  served  God;  but  never 
May  lord  neglect  his  highest  station, 
Maintaining  faith,  respecting  justice  ever. 



News  Has  Been  Spread  in  France  Concerning  Me 
Nouvelles  out  couru  en  France 

News  has  been  spread  in  France  concerning  me 
In  various  regions  how  that  I  was  dead 
Which  filled  some  men  with  no  uncertain  glee, 
Those  wrongly  hating  me;  and  it  is  said 
That  others  were  truly  discomforted, 
Who  loved  me  with  a  loyal  inclination, 
As  real  and  honest  friends  do  without  fail, 
Wherefore  I  now  make  public  proclamation 
That  this  mouse  here,  at  least,  is  live  and  hale. 

From  hurt  and  harm  I  have,  thank  God!  been  free, 
Healthy  of  limb  and  unimpaired  of  head, 

Charles  a" Orleans  175 

I  spend  my  time  hoping  that  I  may  see 
Long-slumbering  peace  at  last  awakened. 
So  may  it  flourish  everywhere  and  spread 
Its  happiness  to  each  and  every  nation, 
Therefore  may  Heaven  curse  all  who  bewail 
That  great  and  happy  news  with  desolation: 
That  this  mouse  here,  at  least,  is  live  and  hale. 

Youth  still  governs  my  being  puissantly 
Though  age  makes  efforts  with  accustomed  dread 
To  grasp  me  in  its  cruel  mastery, 
But,  for  the  while,  its  witchery  is  sped; 
Too  far  removed  I,  from  an  oldster's  bed 
To  give  my  heirs  due  cause  for  lamentation. 
Praise  God  who  gave  me  power  to  prevail 
In  strength,  in  fortitude  and  in  such  station 
That  this  mouse  here,  at  least,  is  live  and  hale. 

None  need  mourn  me  or  prav  for  my  salvationr 
Gray  cloth  was  ever  cheaper  by  the  bale, 
So  let  all  men  know  without  hesitation 
That  this  mouse  here,  at  least,  is  live  and  hale. 


Pray  for  Peace,  Oh  Gentle  Virgin  Mary 
Pries  four  faix,  Aoulce  Vierge  Marie 

Pray  for  peace,  oh  gentle  Virgin  Mary, 

Queen  of  heaven  and  the  world's  mistress, 

Set  to  praying  through  your  courtesy 

The  company  of  Saints — then  turn  your  skillfulness 

Towards  your  Son,  beseeching  his  greatness 

To  look  with  pleasure  on  his  people 

Whom  with  his  blood  so  willingly  he  bought, 

And  outlaw  war  which  brings  all  things  to  naught; 

176  Northern  France 

Cease  not  your  prayer,  leave  not  for  weariness, 
But  pray  for  peace  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 

Pray,  all  bishops  and  holy  men  of  God, 
You  monks  and  friars,  sleep  not  in  idleness, 
Pray,  all  clerks  who  follow  the  priesthood, 
For  power  of  war  will  make  all  learning  cease; 
Your  churches  will  be  all  destroyed — unless 
You  help.  God's  service  you  must  leave 
When  you  can  dwell  in  it  in  peace  no  more; 
Pray  so  earnestly  that  God  may  quickly  hear, 
The  Church's  will  is  to  command  you  this; 
Pray  for  peace  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 

Pray,  all  princes  who  have  sovereign  rights, 

Kings,  dukes,  counts,  lords  full  of  nobleness, 

Gentlemen  and  company  of  knights; 

For  evil  men  are  trampling  greatness, 

And  holding  in  their  hands  your  wealthiness, 

Your  quarrels  let  them  rise  to  high  degree, 

This,  every  day,  is  seen  with  clarity; 

They  are  rich  with  gold  and  property 

Which  you  should  hold  and  for  your  people  use; 

So  pray  for  peace  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 

Pray,  all  people  suffering  tyranny, 
Your  overlords  are  showing  such  weakness 
They  can  no  longer  keep  their  sovereignty 
O'er  you;  nor  help  your  great  distress; 
Loyal  merchants,  the  saddle  hard  does  press 
Upon  your  backs,  each  man  does  threaten  you 
So  that  your  usual  trade  you  may  not  ply, 
For  you  have  neither  passage  safe  nor  way 
Through  which  to  pass:  your  path  in  peril  is; 
So  pray  for  peace  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 

Pray,  all  gallants  in  joyful  company, 
Wishing  to  spend  your  money  with  largesse; 

Charles  d'Orleans  177 

War  keeps  your  purses  empty  constantly. 

Pray,  all  lovers  who  wish  in  mirthfulness 

To  serve  your  loves;  for  war  with  its  harshness 

Hinders  your  visits  to  your  mistresses, 

And  oftentimes  will  make  them  change  their  mind: 

And  when  you  think  you  have  the  rein,  you'll  find 

A  stranger  comes  and  takes  it  to  be  his. 

So  pray  for  peace,  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 

That  God  Almighty  may  our  comfort  be, 
Let  all  that  lives  on  earth,  in  sky,  or  sea, 
Pray  to  him,  for  each  thing  His  care  is; 
Only  through  Him  can  evil's  ending  be; 
So  pray  for  peace  that  joy's  own  treasure  is. 


Summer  Has  Sent  His  Minions  on 

Les  fourriers  d'Este  sont  venus 

Summer  has  sent  his  minions  on 
His  spacious  mansion  to  prepare 
With  arras  woven  everywhere 
Of  leaves  and  flowers,  to  spread  upon 

The  earth  green  carpetry  of  lawn 
And  mead;  to  courts  once  cold  and  bare 
Summer  has  sent  his  minions  on. 

Those  folk  but  lately  sad  and  wan 
Have  health,  praise  God,  are  freed  from  care. 
Then  go  your  way,  plague  of  the  year, 
Winter;  your  time  is  past.  Begone! 

178  Northern  France 

Summer  has  sent  his  minions  on 
His  spacious  mansion  to  prepare. 


Away  with  You!  Begone!  Begone! 
Ales  vous  ant,  ales,  ales 

Away  with  you!  Begone!  Begone, 
Gray  Melancholy,  Grief,  Despair! 
How  could  you  dream  you  could  ensnare 
Me  always  as  you  once  have  done"? 

Your  stern  dominion  I  disown; 
Reason  shall  master  it,  I  swear. 
Away  with  you!  Begone!  Begone, 
Gray  Melancholy,  Grief,  Despair! 

If  with  your  retinue  aaon 
You  would  revisit  me,  forbear! 
I  pray  God  curse  you  and  declare 
Your  claims  all  void  from  this  day  on. 
Away  with  you!  Begone!  Begone, 
Gray  Melancholy,  Grief,  Despair! 


Lovers,  Beware  the  Dart  That  Flies 
Gardez  le  trait  de  la  fenestre 

Lovers,  beware  the  dart  that  flies 
From  windows  as  through  streets  you  go, 
For  more  swift  to  wound  it  is 
Than  arrow  from  arbalest  or  bow. 
Look  neither  to  your  right  nor  left 
As  you  pass  by,  but  keep  eyes  low; 

Charles  d'Orleans  179 

Lovers,  beware  the  dart  that  flies 

From  windows  as  through  streets  you  go. 

If  you  have  no  doctor,  sir, 

When  you  feel  the  piercing  blow, 

God  alone  can  help  you  now, 

Send  for  the  priest,  you  are  Death's  prize; 

Lovers,  beware  the  dart  that  flies. 


The  Weather  Has  Laid  Aside  His  Cloak 
he  temfs  a  laissie  son  manteau 

The  weather  has  laid  aside  his  cloak 

Of  wind  and  frost  and  rain, 
And  has  clothed  himself  with  embroidery 

Of  sunshine  clear  and  fine. 

Every  beast  and  bird 
In  his  own  tongue  shouts  and  sings. 
The  weather  has  laid  aside  his  cloak 

Of  wind  and  frost  and  rain. 

River,  stream  and  spring 
Are  wearing  for  gay  livery 
Silver  and  golden  jewelry, 

All  wear  new  clothes  again. 
The  weather  has  laid  aside  his  cloak. 


While  We  Watch  These  Flowers  Fair 
En  regardant  ces  belles  fleurs 

While  we  watch  these  flowers  fair, 
With  whom  the  Springtime  is  in  love, 
Each  of  them  makes  gay  her  face, 
Painting  it  with  charming  hues. 

180  Northern  France 

When  flowers  are  embalmed  with  scent, 
All  our  hearts  with  new  life  move, 
While  we  watch  these  flowers  fair, 
With  whom  the  Springtime  is  in  love. 

Birds  turn  into  dancers  now 
Under  many  a  flowering  bough, 
And  form  a  joyful  choir 
With  descant  voices  and  with  tenors, 
While  we  watch  these  flowers  fair. 


In  the  Book  of  My  Thought 
Dedens  mon  livre  de  fensee 

In  the  book  of  my  thought 
I  found  my  heart  writing 
Sorrow's  true  story 
Illumined  with  tears. 

Destroying  the  well-loved 
Image  of  sweet  delight; 
In  the  book  of  my  thought 
I  found  my  heart  writing. 

Ah!  where  had  my  heart  found  it? 
Pain  and  toil  stained  him 
With  great  drops  of  sweat 
As  he  toiled  day  and  night 
In  the  book  of  my  thought. 


Charles  d'Grleans  181 

Come,  Let  Us  Taste  Delight 
Alons  nous  esbatre 

Come,  let  us  taste  delight, 
My  heart,  just  you  and  I, 
Leave  Care  alone 
To  carry  on  his  fight. 

He  always  will  feel  spite, 
Quarrel,  and  know  not  why: 
Come,  let  us  taste  delight, 
My  heart,  just  you  and  I. 

Men  should  turn  to  smite 
And  point  at  you, 
If  you  should  let  yourself 
Fall  under  his  might: 
Come,  let  us  taste  delight. 


I  Love  Him  Who  Loves  Me,  Otherwise  None 
j'ayme  qui  m'ayme,  autrement  non 

I  love  him  who  loves  me,  otherwise  none; 
And  nonetheless,  I  hate  no  one, 
But  do  wish  that  all  went  well 
According  to  good  Reason's  rule. 

I  talk  too  much,  alas!  'tis  true! 

But  still,  I  hold  unto  this  rule: 

I  love  him  who  loves  me,  otherwise  none, 

And  nonetheless  I  hate  no  one. 

Pansies,  for  thought,  upon  his  hood 
My  poor  heart  has  strewn : 

1 82  Northern  France 

Directly  from  his  side  I  come, 

He  has  given  me  this  tune: 

I  love  him  who  loves  me,  otherwise  none. 


Who's  There,  My  Heart? — It  Is  We,  Your  Eyes 

Cueur,  qu'est-ce  la? — Ce  sommes-nous  voz  yeux 

Who's  there,  my  heart? —  It  is  we,  your  eyes. 
What  do  you  bring? —  A  goodly  crop  of  news. 
What  sort  of  news? —  Fair  news,  and  of  love. 
None  for  me,  indeed,  God  help  me,  no! 

Whence  do  you  come? —  From  many  a  pleasant  place. 
What  happens  there? —  Bargains  in  cheap  strife. 
Who's  there,  my  heart? —  It  is  we,  your  eyes. 
What  do  you  bring? —  A  goodly  crop  of  news. 

News  for  young  men? —  But  it's  for  old  men  too? 
Your  news  is  a]l  stale. —  It's  long  since  there  were  such. 
But  I  know  it,  I  know  it. —  Listen  to  it,  at  least. 
Peace,  I  would  sleep. —  You  act  not  for  the  best. 
Who's  there,  my  heart? —  It  is  we,  your  eyes. 


Ah,  God,  Who  Made  Her  Good  to  See 
Dieu,  qui  la  fait  loon  regarder 

Ah,  God,  who  made  her  good  to  see, 
So  gracious,  beautiful,  and  sweet; 
With  the  great  gifts  she  has,  how  meet 
That  all  in  highest  praise  agree. 

Charles  d'Orleans  183 

How  could  one  tire  of  her,  lovely 
And  ever-fresh  from  head  to  feet? 
Ah,  God,  who  made  her  good  to  see, 
So  gracious,  beautiful,  and  sweet! 

To  think  of  her  is  melody! 

Here  or  afar  we  cannot  greet 

A  maid  or  matron  half  so  sweet, 

Or  half  so  perfect  as  is  she. 

Ah,  God,  who  made  her  good  to  see! 


Winter,  You  Are  Merely  a  Churl 
Yver,  vous  n'estes  qu'un  vilain 

Winter,  you  are  merely  a  churl; 
Summer  is  kind,  charming  and  gay, 
As  bear  witness  from  dawn  until  dark 
Her  companions,  April  and  May. 

Summer  decks  the  fields  and  flowers 
And  woods  with  new  livery 
Of  green  and  many  colors  more, 
Following  Nature's  own  decree. 

But  you,  Winter,  overflow 
With  snow,  wind,  rain  and  hail; 
We  should  send  you  into  exile. 
Without  flattery  I  tell  you  so: 
Winter,  you  are  merely  a  churl. 


184  Northern  France 



I  Am  Francois,  to  My  Dismay 
Je  suis  Francois,  dont  il  me  foise 

I  am  Francois,  to  my  dismay, 

Parisian  born,  out  Pontoise  way, 

And  through  the  lesson  ropes  convey 

My  neck'll  learn  what  my  arse  may  weigh. 


The  Belle  Heaulmiere  to  the  Daughters  of  Joy 
ha  belle  Heaulmiere  aux  piles  de  joie 

So  think  things  over,  pretty  Glover 

Who  used  to  be  my  pupil, 

And  you,  Blanche  the  Cobbler, 

It's  time  you  thought  about  yourself. 

Take  them  right  and  left — spare  no  man 

I  pray  you;  for  when  you're  old 

You'll  have  less  currency  or  place 

Than  coins  they've  taken  out  of  circulation. 

And  you,  sweet  Sausage-vendor, 
Who's  such  a  graceful  dancer; 
Guillemette  the  Tapestry-maker, 
Don't  do  your  master  in,  for  soon 
You'll  have  to  close  your  shop. 
When  you're  old  and  faded 
You'll  be  serving  some  old  priest, 
Like  coins  they've  taken  out  of  circulation. 

Jeanneton  the  Bonnet-maker, 
Don't  let  your  lover  hobble  you; 

angois  Villon  185 

And  Catherine,  Purse-vendor, 

Stop  putting  men  to  pasture; 

For  even  if  those  girls  who  aren't 

So  pretty,  make  no  sour  face,  but  smile, 

Old-age's  ugliness  will  frighten  love  away, 

Like  coins  they've  taken  out  of  circulation. 

Girls,  for  your  own  good 

Listen  to  why  I  cry  and  weep: 

I  can  no  longer  get  around — I  am 

Like  coins  they've  taken  out  of  circulation. 


The  Old  Woman  Laments  the  Days  of  Her  Youth 

Les  regrets  de  la  belle  Heaulmiere 

I  seem  to  hear  lamenting 
The  Armoress  who  once  was  fair, 
Wishing  she  were  a  girl  again 
And  speaking  after  this  manner: 
"Ha!  old  age,  villainous  and  fierce, 
Why  so  soon  have  you  laid  me  low? 
If  I  strike  myself,  what  shall  hinder 
My  killing  myself  with  such  a  blow? 

You  have  taken  the  great  dominion 
That  Beauty  did  ordain  for  me 
Over  scholars,  merchants,  churchmen, 
For  then  no  man  born  could  be 
Who  wouldn't  give  everything  to  me — 
Even  if  later  he  might  regret — 
If  only  I  would  yield  him  freely 
What  the  beggars  now  reject. 

Many  a  man  I  have  refused — 
Which  wasn't  behaving  sensibly — 

1 86 

Northern  France 

For  the  sake  of  a  crafty  lad  I  used 
To  give  myself  too  generously. 
Others  I  treated  treacherously, 
But  loved  him  well,  upon  my  soul! 
But  he  only  repaid  abusively, 
And  loved  me  only  for  my  gold. 

However  much  he  bullied  me, 
Trampled  me,  I  loved  him  still; 
And  had  he  even  crippled  me, 
He  need  only  ask  me  for  a  kiss 
To  blot  out  all  my  ill. 
The  scoundrel,  marked  with  evil  stain, 
Embraced  me  .  .  .  hardly  profitable! 
For  what  is  left?  Sin  and  shame. 

But  he  is  dead  these  thirty  years, 
And  old  and  gray-haired  I  remain. 
When  I  think  of  the  good  years, 
What  I  was,  what  I  became! 
When  I  look  at  my  naked  frame, 
And  see  how  much  I  have  changed, 
Wretched,  wizened,  shrunken,  lean, 
My  mind  is  nearly  deranged. 

What  has  become  of  my  smooth  brow, 

My  blond  hair,  my  eyebrows'  span, 

My  well-spaced  eyes,  that  glance  now, 

That  used  to  trap  the  cleverest  men? 

My  fine  straight  nose,  then 

Not  big  nor  small,  each  dainty  ear, 

The  clear,  curved  cheeks  and  dimpled  chin, 

And  those  red  lips  so  fair? 

Those  shoulders,  slender  and  fine, 
Those  long  arms  and  shapely  hands, 
The  tiny  breasts,  hips  round  and  high, 
Shaped  perfectly — a  land 
Made  for  love's  tournaments; 

rangois  Villon  187 

The  wide  loins;  and  pleasure's  seat 
Set  in  the  firm  thighs'  extent, 
Inside  its  little  garden  sweet? 

The  wrinkled  brow,  the  hair  turned  gray, 
Eyebrows  fallen  out,  dimmed  eyes 
That  once  attacked  with  looks  and  gay 
Smiles,  winning  many  a  merchant  prize; 
Nose  bent,  as  beauty  far  off  flies. 
Ears  drooping,  full  of  hair, 
Wan  cheeks,  dead  and  colorless, 
Puckered  chin,  lips  like  leather. 

This  is  human  beauty's  end! 
The  short  arms,  gnarled  fists, 
Shoulders  quite  humped  and  bent; 
What  of  the  breasts?  mere  shriveled  tits; 
Hips  and  dugs  have  called  it  quits; 
And  pleasure's  seat?  Ugh!  And  as 
Fot  thighs,  they're  no  thighs  now  but  bits 
Of  things,  all  flecked  like  sausages. 

And  so  we  lament  the  good  old  days 
Among  ourselves — poor  old  fools, 
Squatting  low  here  on  our  haunches, 
Bunched  up  like  woolen  balls 
Around  a  fire  of  hempen  straw, 
Quickly  lit  and  quickly  gone. 
And  once  we  were  cute  and  fair! 
— But  so  it  goes  with  many  a  one. 


Ballad  for  Fat  Margot 
Ballade  de  la  Grosse  Margot 

If  I  love  and  serve  my  beauty  with  good  heart, 
Must  you  think  me  common  and  a  mug? 

1 88  Northern  France 

She  has  in  her  all  that  a  man  could  want. 
For  love  of  her,  both  sword  and  shield  I  lug; 
When  people  come,  I  run  and  fetch  a  jug, 
And  get  some  wine,  as  quiet  as  I  can  do't 
I  offer  water,  cheese  and  bread  and  fruit. 
If  they  pay  well,  I  say  to  them :  "Good  Sport! 
Come  again,  when  you  feel  in  rut 
Here  to  this  brothel  where  we  hold  our  court'/' 

But  then  disharmony  its  reign  does  start 
When  Margot  comes  to  bed  and  brings  no  cash; 
I  cannot  bear  her,  but  feel  a  deathly  hate. 
I  snatch  her  dress  and  petticoat  and  sash, 
And  swear  I'll  keep  them  all  instead  of  cash. 
She,  arms  akimbo,  cries:  'Tou  Antichrist," 
And  swears  to  me  by  death  of  Jesus  Christ 
It  shall  not  be.  And  so  I  grab  a  stout 
Stick,  and  on  her  nose  my  message  write, 
Here  in  this  brothel  where  we  hold  our  court. 

Then  we  make  up,  and  she  lets  out  a  fart, 
Since  she's  more  bloated  than  a  venomous  bug. 
Then  laughing,  claps  her  fist  upon  my  pate, 
Calls  me  cute,  and  hits  me  in  the  leg. 
Completely  drunk,  we  both  sleep  like  a  log. 
And  when  we  wake,  her  belly  shows  its  might, 
She  mounts  me,  so  as  not  to  spoil  her  fruit. 
I  groan  beneath  her,  squashed  flat  like  a  board; 
By  lechery  she  has  me  ruined  quite, 
Here  in  this  brothel  where  we  hold  our  court. 

Come  wind,  hail,  or  frost,  my  bread  is  won. 
I'm  a  lecher,  she's  a  lecherous  one. 
Which  is  betterr  We  are  both  as  one. 
Bad  cat,  bad  rat:  each  a  no-good  sort. 
Garbage  we  love,  garbage  follows  on. 

rangois  Villon  189 

We  flee  from  honor,  from  us  it  flees,  is  gone, 
Here  in  this  brothel  where  we  hold  our  court. 


Ballad  of  the  Ladies  of  Olden  Times 
Ballade  des  Dames  du  Temps  jadis 

Tell  me  where,  in  what  foreign  place 
Is  Flora,  who  wore  Roman  dress, 
Archipiades,  and  Thais, 
Her  first  cousin  in  loveliness; 
Echo,  whose  voice  was  a  caress 
Over  the  river  or  mere, 
Fairer  than  human  heart  may  guess — 
Where  are  the  snows  of  yesteryear? 

Where  is  the  love  of  Abelard, 
The  prudent  Heloise,  for  whom 
He  bore  the  pain  of  manhood  scarred 
And  lived  in  monastery  gloom? 
Where  is  the  queen  decreed  the  doom 
Of  Buridan,  that  he  must  wear 
Sack  for  shroud  in  the  Seine  his  tomb? 
Where  are  the  snows  of  yesteryear? 

The  lily-queen  who  graced  the  palace — 
Blanche,  who  sang  in  a  wondrous  strain, 
Bertha  Giant-foot,  Beatrice,  Alice, 
Lady  Haremburgis  of  Maine 
And  Joan,  the  good  girl  from  Lorraine 
Whose  burning  gave  the  English  cheer; 
O  Virgin,  do  I  ask  in  vain? 
Where  are  the  snows  of  yesteryear? 

Prince,  do  not  ask  whither  they  go 
Or  where  they  are,  lest  to  your  ear 

I  go  Northern  France 

The  same  refrain  sound  sad  and  low, 
Where  are  the  snows  of  yesteryear? 


Villon's  Epitaph  [The  Ballad  of  the  Hanged] 
UEpitaphe  Villon  [La  Ballade  des  fendus] 

Brother  men,  who  after  us  still  live, 
Let  not  your  hearts  towards  us  turn  to  stone, 
For  if  to  wretched  us  you  pity  give, 
God's  mercy  will  to  you  be  sooner  shown. 
You  see  us,  five  or  six,  strung  up  here  now; 
As  for  our  flesh  which  once  we  overfed, 
It  has  long  since  been  rotted  or  devoured, 
And  we,  the  bones,  to  dust  and  ashes  fall. 
Let  no  one  mock  at  our  unhappy  fate, 
But  pray  to  God  that  he  absolve  us  all. 

If  we  dare  call  you  brothers,  you  should  show 
No  scorn  for  us,  although  we  have  been  slain 
In  justice.  In  any  case,  you  know 
That  all  men  are  not  reasonable  and  sane; 
So  intercede  for  us,  now  we  are  gone, 
With  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary's  Son, 
That  his  grace  may  not  dry  up  its  spring, 
But  keep  us  from  the  thunderbolt  of  Hell; 
We  are  dead,  let  no  one  hound  us  on; 
But  pray  to  God  that  he  absolve  us  all. 

The  rain  has  washed  and  scoured  us  clean, 
And  the  sun  blackened  and  dried  us  now; 
Daws  and  crows  made  holes  where  eyes  have  been, 
And  plucked  away  our  beards  and  each  eyebrow. 
Never  at  any  time  have  we  sat  down; 
But  here  and  there  as  the  wind  does  blow, 

angois  Villon  191 

It  carries  us  at  will  incessantly, 

Pecked  by  birds,  more  nicked  than  any  thimble. 

Seek  not  to  join  with  our  fraternity; 

But  pray  to  God  that  he  absolve  us  all. 

Prince  Jesus,  who  over  all  hold  sway, 
Keep  us  from  Hell's  dominion;  we'd  not  pay 
There  any  debt,  or  dealings  have  at  all, 
Men,  there's  no  intent  to  joke  or  play; 
But  pray  to  God  that  he  absolve  us  all. 




The  earliest  lyrical  expressions  of  medieval  France  were  short 
poems  and  dramatic  pieces  dealing  with  religious  subjects:  lives 
of  saints,  martyrdoms,  etc.  The  "Cantilene  de  Sainte  Eulalie," 
here  included,  was  modeled  after  Latin  hymns  sung  at  church, 
and  dates  back  to  the  ninth  century.  Also  popular  were  the 
chansons  de  toile  or  sewing-songs,  so  called  because  they  present 
women  at  the  spinning  wheel  or  doing  needlework.  The  songs 
take  the  form  of  mono-rhyme  stanzas  with  a  refrain,  and  relate 
vividly  and  charmingly  some  love  episode.  Among  the  many 
other  types  of  lyrics  there  were  the  workers'  songs,  wherein 
they  complain  of  their  hard  lot  and  expose  abuses  of  the  rich 
and  powerful;  and  chansons  de  mal-mariee,  wherein  a  dis- 
gruntled wife  regrets  having  married  the  good-for-nothing  who 
is  now  her  husband;  the  chansons  a  personnages,  in  dialogue 
form,  dramatizing  a  quarrel  between  husband  and  wife;  in  the 
albas  or  auhes  (dawn-songs)  lovers  regret  the  coming  of  dawn 
which  obliges  them  to  part;  in  the  pastourelles  a  knight  makes 
love  to  a  shepherdess;  and,  finally,  the  reverdie  celebrates  the 
coming  of  spring  and  frequently  birds  join  in  with  their  songs. 
From  the  fourteenth  century  on,  and  particularly  through  the 
contributions  of  such  master  technicians  as  Guillaume  de  Ma- 
chaut,  Eustache  Deschamps,  Christine  de  Pisan,  and  Charles 
d'Orleans,  a  "new  rhetoric"  emerged.  Predominantly  concerned 
with  prosodic  manipulations,  the  new  rhetoricians  made  a  cult 
of  technique.  Such  artificial  forms  as  the  rondel,  the  rondeau, 
the  ballade,  the  triolet,  the  virelay,  monopolized  their  concern 
— until  poets  of  the  Pleiade,  who  were  also  formalistic,  re- 
jected most  of  the  rondeau  and  ballade  forms  in  favor  of  the 
ode  and  the  sonnet. 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  193 

adam  de  la  halle  (c.  1240-1288),  poet  from  Arras, 
nicknamed  Adam  the  Hunchback,  elevated  his  Picard  dialect 
to  a  literary  language  through  his  witty  popular  poems,  some 
of  which  he  set  to  music.  He  served  the  Count  of  Artois  and 
followed  him  to  Naples.  From  c.  1282  to  1286  he  sojourned 
in  Sicily,  having  joined  Charles  of  Anjou's  suite.  On  his  re- 
turn home  he  died  of  consumption.  His  plays  he  ]eu  de  la 
feuillee  (c.  1276)  and  he  Jeu  de  Robin  et  Marion  constitute 
his  remarkable  contribution  to  the  early  French  theatre:  the 
former  shows  a  striking  similarity  with  A  Midsummer  Night's 
Dream,  and  the  latter  is  an  adaptation  of  a  pastourelle  to  a  musi- 
cal dramatic  form.  Adam's  poetry,  in  his  refined  songs  and  ron- 
deaux,  gracefully  tender  and  bright,  points  to  a  Provencal 

AGNES      DE      NAVARRE-CHAMPAGNE    (XlVth    century), 

Countess  of  Foix,  was  the  daughter  of  Jeanne  de  France  and 
Philippe  d'Evreux.  In  1349  she  married  the  famous  Count  of 
Foix,  with  whom  she  had  several  children.  Disagreements  on 
money  matters  forced  them  to  separate.  One  of  their  sons, 
Gaston,  tried  to  bring  about  a  reconciliation  but  he  had  be- 
come involved  in  a  plot  to  kill  Charles  le  Mauvais  and  soon 
thereafter  was  killed  by  his  own  father.  Agnes  remained  at 
the  court  of  Navarre,  returning  to  France  only  to  die. 

chartier,  alain  (c.  1390-1440),  born  at  Bayeux,  in 
Normandy,  studied  in  Paris,  and  served  under  Charles  VI  and 
VII,  traveling  widely  on  diplomatic  missions.  In  addition  to  his 
prose  work  he  Quadrilogue  invectif  (1422),  an  analysis  and 
critique  of  the  social  and  political  situation,  his  reputation 
rests  on  his  ballads  and  rondeaux  and  most  especially  on  that 
poem,  ha  Belle  Dame  sans  merci  (1424),  which  has  elicited 
such  widespread  echoes. 

LE     CHASTELAIN     DE     COUCY     (d.     1203),     3,    Writer    of 

melancholy  lyrics,  perhaps  named  Gui  de  Thurotte,  was  the 
chatelain  of  the  town  of  Coucy.  A  legend  exists  which  was 
transcribed  into  a  metrical  romance,  he  Chastelain  de  Couci 
(c.   1205)  by  Jakemon  or  Jakemes  le  Vinier,  that  he  died  at 

194  Northern  France 

sea  on  his  way  to  the  Holy  Land  at  the  time  of  the  crusades 
and  that  his  heart  was  sent  to  his  lady  love.  Her  jealous  hus- 
band intercepted  the  gift  and  served  it  to  her  in  a  dish.  (Cf. 
note  on  Guilhem  de  Cabestanh,  the  Provencal  poet,  for  a 
variation  on  this  coeur-mange  theme.) 

Chretien  de  troyes  (c.  1 1 35- 1 1 90),  hailed  from 
Troyes,  capital  of  Champagne,  and  frequented  the  court  of 
Marie  de  Champagne.  He  wrote  romances  of  love  and  chivalric 
adventures:  his  Lancelot,  Yvain  and  Percival  were  circulated 
widely,  found  their  way  into  other  European  languages,  and 
were  frequently  imitated. 

Christine  de  pisan  (1364-1430),  born  in  Venice, 
the  daughter  of  the  astrologer  and  physician  of  Charles  V  of 
France,  was  brought  up  in  Paris.  At  fifteen,  she  married 
£tienne  de  Castel.  Widowed  ten  years  later,  she  underwent 
many  reverses  and  privations  and  had  to  write  for  money  in 
order  to  support  her  family.  Deep  sincerity  and  natural  grace 
characterize  her  verse.  A  staunch  defender  of  women,  she 
replied  with  singular  eloquence  to  Jean  de  Meun's  (q.v.) 
attacks  and  wrote  a  treatise  on  the  education  of  women;  she  | 
used  Jeanne  d'Arc  as  a  female  paragon.  She  ended  her  days  in 
a  convent. 

Colin  muset  (after  1234),  jongleur  from  Lorraine,  wrote 
about  life's  joys  and  occasionally  parodied  the  courtly  poets, 
making  facetious  remarks  about  courtly  love  and  even  criticiz- 
ing the  lords  for  their  stinginess. 

CONON  [or   QUESNES]  DE  BETHUNE  (d,  I22o),  a  Cm- 

sader  from  Picardy,  member  of  the  high  nobility,  ancestor  of' 
Sully,  took  part  in  the  conquest  of  Constantinople  (1204) 
and  became  Regent  of  the  Empire  (121 9).  A  man  of  action, 
highly  praised  by  the  historian  Villehardouin,  he  was  also  a 
gifted  imitator  in  French  of  the  troubadours. 

Votes  and  Biographical  Sketches  195 

deschamps,  eustache  (1346-1410),  born  at  Vertus 
^Marne),  was  brought  up  by  his  uncleO)  Guillaume  de 
Vlachaut  (q.v.)  who  taught  him  the  art  of  poetry.  Deschamps 
field  various  offices  at  the  courts  of  Charles  V  and  VI  of  France, 
wrote  a  considerable  number  of  ballads  and  rondeaux  in  the 
:ourtly  tradition,  some  of  them  satiric  or  patriotic.  He  wrote 
a  ballad  on  the  death  of  Guillaume  de  Machaut  and  another  to 
Chaucer,  whom  he  addresses  as  "grant  translatear"  because  of 
his  English  version  of  the  Roman  de  la  Rose.  The  poem  "One 
Day  the  Rats  of  All  Degrees,"  included  here,  is  the  basis  of 
La  Fontaines  famous  fable. 

froissart,  jean  (1337-1410),  the  great  historian,  whose 
Chronicles  made  him  known  as  the  "Herodotus  of  a  barbarous 
age,"  wrote  lovely  lais,  ballades  and  shorter  lyrics  which  com- 
pare favorably  with  those  of  the  best  poets  of  his  times — in  fact, 
his  verses  have  perhaps  more  personality  than  Machaut's  in 
whose  footsteps  he  followed  to  a  large  extent. 

gace  brule  (c.  1179-1212),  a  knight  from  Champagne, 
probably  associated  with  the  Duke  of  Brittany  Geoffrey  Plan- 
tagenet  and  his  sister  Marie  de  Champagne,  is  remembered 
for  some  thirty  love  poems,  in  the  troubadour  tradition  but 
much  more  tempered,  even  austere  at  times. 

guillaume  de  lorris  (1 210-1237),  was  born  early  in 
the  thirteenth  century  in  Lorris,  a  village  east  of  Orleans,  and 
died,  according  to  Jean  de  Meun,  before  he  had  finished  his 
Roman  de  la  Rose,  begun  during  the  1220's.  He  died  c.  1237, 
according  to  the  evidence  in  Jean  de  Meun's  continuation, 
which  was  composed  c.  1277,  within  the  limits  of  1268  and  1285. 
jean  de  meun,  born  at  Meung-sur-Loire,  about  1240, 
probably  died  in  Paris,  c.  1305.  Guillaume  de  Lorris'  Roman 
de  la  Rose  and  Jean  de  Meun's  continuation,  represented  in 
the  two  selections  here,  have  been  claimed  by  some  scholars 
to  be  superficially  different  in  style  but  fundamentally  unified 
in  their  development  of  the  theme.  However,  one  may  argue 

196  Northern  France 

that  Jean  de  Meun  seems  to  be  less  interested  in  the  allegory 
than  in  expounding  a  Christian-naturalistic  doctrine  of  love  as 
the  will  to  perpetuate  the  species.  In  the  best  medieval  misogy- 
nistic  tradition,  Jean  de  Meun  satirizes  woman  as  the  greedy 
deceiver  of  man.  Both  aspects — Guillaume  de  Lorris'  and 
Jean  de  Meun's — were  powerfully  influential  in  the  late  Middle 
Ages  and  the  Renaissance. 

guiot  de  dijon  (fl.  1220).  Several  lyrics  and  a  crusading 
song  have  been  attributed  to  him. 

jacob  bar  juda,  hazak  (fl.  1 288),  a  Lorraine  rabbi, 
wrote  in  French  the  elegy  (selihah)  included  here,  transcribed 
in  Hebrew  characters.  It  is  the  first-known  literary  work  of  this 
type;  in  it  he  wished  to  commemorate  the  martyrdom  of  thir- 
teen Jews  falsely  accused  of  ritual  murder,  who,  when  sen- 
tenced to  burn  at  the  stake  in  Troyes,  could  have  saved  them- 
selves by  embracing  Christianity  but  chose  instead  to  perish 
in  the  flames. 

jean  de  meun,  see  entry  for  guillaume  de  lor- 

MACHAUT,    GUILLAUME     DE    (c.    1 292-1 377),    poet    and 

musician  born  in  the  village  of  Machaut  in  the  Ardennes, 
served  for  years  as  secretary  of  John  of  Luxembourg,  King  of 
Bohemia,  who  took  him  to  Germany,  Austria,  Italy,  and  even 
Russia.  After  the  King's  death  at  the  battle  of  Crecy  (1346), 
Guillaume  served  the  future  Charles  V  of  France,  and  there- 
after the  King  of  Navarre  and  members  of  the  French  royal 
Family.  In  1377  he  was  appointed  canon  of  Reims.  In  literature 
his  renown  derives  from  his  short  lyrics — rondels,  triolets, 
ballades — elaborate  in  prosody  and  form,  many  of  which  he 
set  to  music.  Memorable  too  are  his  motets  and  his  mass  at  the 
coronation  of  Charles  V  of  France  (1364).  Because  of  his 
musical  talent  and  his  technical  innovations  in  poetry,  his 
name  remains  among  those  of  the  truly  significant  figures  of 
medieval   French   culture,   and,   in   fact,   some  of  his  contem- 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  197 

poraries  placed  him  above  Petrarch  and  Boccaccio.  One  thing  is 
certain:  he  did  influence  Gower  and  Chaucer. 

marie  de  France  (fl.  1181-1216),  the  greatest  poetess 
of  medieval  Europe,  was  perhaps  the  natural  daughter  of 
Geoffrey  Plantagenet  and,  therefore,  half-sister  of  Henry  II. 
Though  born  in  France,  she  did  most,  perhaps  all,  of  her  liter- 
ary work  in  England,  where  she  was  Abbess  of  Shaftesbury. 
Marie  de  France  is  best  known  for  her  lais,  narrative  poems 
of  love  adventure  and  fantasy  derived  from  the  stories  which 
the  Bretons  told  in  the  Norman  and  French  courts  and  which 
deal  with  King  Arthur  and  the  Round  Table,  Tristan  and 
Iseult,  and  Celtic  legends.  She  also  wrote  Aesopic  fables  and 
paraphrased  in  French  a  Latin  legend  about  St.  Patrick. 

Orleans,  charles  d'  (c.  1394-1465),  born  in  Paris,  the 
son  of  Louis  d'Orleans  (brother  of  Charles  VI  of  France)  and 
the  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  when  barely  twenty-one 
was  taken  prisoner  at  Agincourt  and  remained  a  captive  in 
England  for  a  quarter  of  a  century:  it  was  then  that  most  of 
his  poetry  was  written.  On  his  release  he  married  Marie  de 
Cleves  and  settled  at  Blois,  where  he  played  host  to  artists  and 
poets  (Villon  among  others)  and  wrote  many  lovely  lyrics. 
Charles  d'Orleans'  rondeaux  and  ballades  manifest  consummate 
skill,  and  some,  notably  his  ballades  "News  Has  Been  Spread 
from  France"  and  "Pray  for  Peace,  Oh  Gentle  Virgin  Mary" 
and  his  rondels  "The  Weather  Has  Laid  Aside  His  Cloak" 
and  "Ah,  God,  Who  Made  Her  Good  to  See,"  have  depth  of 
feeling  and  exquisite  formal  beauty.  His  poem  written  in  cap- 
tivity refers  to  his  first  wife,  Bonne  d'Armagnac,  whom  he  hopes 
will  free  him  by  ransom  and  other  means. 

richard  the  lion-hearted  [Richard  Coeur  de 
Lion]  (11 57-1 199),  King  of  England  (1189-1x99),  writer  in 
French  and  Provencal  and  a  most  dramatic  medieval  figure, 
took  part  in  the  Crusades  and  was  imprisoned  by  his  political 
enemies.  He  and  his  older  brother  Henry  and  their  mother, 
Eleanor  of  Aquitaine,  were  patrons  of  the   Provencal   poets. 

198  Northern  France 

Richard  left  us  two  songs;  in  the  sirventes  included  here  the 
sister  referred  to  is  Mary,  Countess  of  Champagne,  daughter 
of  Louis  VII  and  Eleanor. 

rutebeuf  (c.  1225-1280),  a  gifted  poet  from  Champagne, 
lived  a  most  precarious  existence  in  Paris,  endeavoring  to  find 
the  humorous  side  of  life:  in  short,  a  poverty-stricken  genius 
and  roisterer  who  anticipates  Villon  in  his  experiences,  in  his 
ideas,  in  his  lyricism,  and  in  his  truculence.  Rutebeuf  wrote 
fabliaux,  satires,  saints'  lives,  pious  legends,  panegyrics  and 
funeral  laments;  he  attacked  King  and  Pope,  merchant  and 
laborer  with  equal  venom.  His  play  Le  Miracle  de  Theophile 
embodies  the  Faust  theme:  it  tells  of  an  ambitious  priest  who 
sold  his  soul  to  the  Devil  but  on  repenting  was  saved  by  the 
Virgin  Mary. 

Villon,  franqois  (1431-after  1 463),  born  in  Paris, 
was  brought  up  by  Guillaume  de  Villon,  chaplain  of  Saint- 
Benoit-le-Betourne.  Despite  his  riotous  life  at  the  University 
of  Paris,  he  finally  obtained  a  Master  of  Arts  degree  in  1452. 
Three  years  later  he  killed  a  priest  in  a  brawl  and  afterward 
broke  into  the  College  of  Navarre,  carrying  off  500  gold  pieces. 
His  earliest  poem,  the  Lais  or  Petit  Testament,  was  written 
around  this  time.  For  six  years  he  wandered  throughout  dif- 
ferent parts  of  France — for  a  short  while  he  lingered  at  Charles 
d'Orleans'  court — and  on  two  occasions  at  least  he  was  in  jail. 
In  1 46 1,  despairing  of  his  health,  he  composed  the  2,ooc-line 
Testament  recapitulating  his  life  experiences,  vituperating  his 
enemies,  expressing  both  his  anguish  and  joie  de  vivre,  in  verses 
which  in  their  sincerity  and  depth  of  feeling  stand  above  all 
the  poetry  of  his  contemporaries.  On  his  return  to  Paris  he 
found  himself  involved  in  a  number  of  quarrels  and  murders 
and  in  1462  was  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  However  the  sentence 
was  commuted  and  he  was  allowed  to  go  into  exile  for  a  period 
of  ten  years.  Alter  this  judgment  nothing  more  is  known  about 
him,  but  the  few  poems  he  wrote  remain  the  loftiest  literary 
contribution  from  medieval  France. 

It  should  be  noted  that  the  ''Belle  Heaulmiere"  (seller  of 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  199 

armor)  included  here,  deals  with  the  mistress  of  lame  and 
wealthy  Nicolas  d'Orgemont,  sometime  canon  of  Notre-Dame. 
The  lament  of  the  notorious  courtesan  for  her  lost  beauty  and 
her  ballade  to  the  Parisian  prostitutes  are  outstanding  moments 
in  Villon's  creative  work. 


Anonymous  Translated  by 

\h  Me  Poor  Wretch,  Who  Loved  a  Falcon  206 

Tapina  oi  me,  ch'amava  uno  sparviero  Sonia  Raiziss  and 

Alfredo  de  Palchi 

St.  Francis  of  Assisi  (c.  1 180-1226) 
Hie  Canticle  of  the  Creatures  206 

Cantico  delle  Creature  William  M.  Davis 

GlACOMO  DA  LENTINO   (c.    I189-I240) 

.  Have  Set  My  Heart  on  Serving  God  208 

lo  m'agio  posto  in  core  a  Dio  servire  Maurice  Valency 

rhe  Frightful  Basilisk,  Most  Poisonous  208 

Guardando  'I  basalisco  velenoso  Daniel  J.  Donno 

ClELO  D'ALCAMO   (fl.    I23l) 

rhou  Sweetly-Smelling  Fresh  Red  Rose  209 

Rosa  fresca  aulentissima  c'apar'inver  la  state  D.  G.  Rossetti 

Enzo  Re  (c.  1220-1272) 
Hme  Comes  for  Those  Ascending  to  Descend  217 

Tempo  vene  che  sale  a  chi  discende  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Love  Often  Agitates  My  Heart  to  Thought  2 1 7 

Amore  mi  fa  sovente  lo  meo  core  pensare        James  J.  Wilhelm 

GUIDO  GUINIZELLI  (c.   I225-I276) 

The  Gentle  Heart  219 

Al  cor  gentil  Daniel  J.  Donno 

202  Italy 

To  Guido  Guinizelli : 

Now  That  You  Have  Changed  the  Manner  221 

A  Guido  Guinizelli:  Poi  ch'avete  mutata  Maurice  Valency 

Rinaldo  d' Aquino  (7-1279) 
No  More  Shall  I  Take  Comfort  221 

Gia  mai  non  mi  conforto  Daniel  J.  Donno 

GUITTONE  D'ArEZZO    (c.    I23O-I294) 

Have  Mercy,  Love!  Give  Ear  223 

Amor,  merze,  intende  s'eo  ragione  Maurice  Valency 

Jacopone  da  Todi  (  i 236-1 306) 
O  Love,  All  Love  Above  224 

Amor  de  caritate,  perche  m'hai  si  ferito?  John  Gray 

FOLGORE  DA  SAN  GlMIGNANO   (c.   I25O-I317) 

Come,  January,  I  Give  You  These  Treats  231 

V  doto  voi,  nel  mese  di  gennaio  Joy  Gould 

In  March,  for  You  a  Gift  of  Fish  I  Boast  231 

Di  marzo  si  vi  do  una  peschiera  Joy  Gould 

For  April  I  Give  You  the  Countryside  232 

D'april  vi  dono  la  gentil  campagna  Joy  Gould 

In  October,  Figuring  up  Your  Share  232 

D'ottobre  nel  contado  a  buono  stallo  Joy  Gould 

Cecco  Angiolieri  (c.  1250-1319) 
If  I  Were  Fire,  I'd  Burn  the  World  Away  23 

S'io  fossi  foco,  arderei  lo  mondo  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Despair  Herself  Regards  Me  as  Her  Son  23 

La  stremita  mi  richer  per  figliuolo  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Guido  Cavalcanti  (c.  i 255-1 300) 
You  Have  in  You  the  Flowers  and  the  Green  Grass  23 

Avete  in  voi  li  fiori  e  la  verdura  G.  S.  Fraser 

Who's  This  That  Comes,  as  Each  Man  Looks  at  Her  23 

Chi  e  questa  che  vien,  ch'ogni  uom  la  mira  G.  S.  Fraser 

Beauty  of  Woman  of  Noble  Heart  23 

Belta  di  donna  di  piacente  core  Maurice  Valency 

If  Mercy  Were  a  Friend  to  My  Desires  23 

Se  Merce  fosse  arnica  a  miei  desiri  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Irma  Brandeis 


James  J.  Wilhelm 


Joseph  Tusiani 


James  J.  Wilhelm 

Italy  203 

You've  Filled  My  Mind  So  Full  of  Grief  237 

Tu  m'hai  si  plena  di  dolor  la  mente  James  J.  Wilhelm 

0  Lady  Mine,  Caught  You  No  Glimpse  of  Him  237 

O  donna  mia,  non  vedestu  colui 
We're  the  Pens,  Saddened  and  Dismayed 

Noi  siam  le  triste  penne  isbigothe 
A  Lady  Begs  Me 

Donna  mi  prega 
Fresh  Newborn  Rose 

Fresca  rosa  novella 
There  in  a  Woodland,  to  My  Thought  More  Bright  242 

In  un  boschetto  trova  pasturella  G.  S.  Fraser 

Since  I  No  Longer  Hope.  O  My  Sweet  Song  243 

Perch'i'  non  spero  di  tornar  giammai  Joseph  Tusiani 

Dante  Alighieri  (1 265-1 321) 
To  Guido  Cavalcanti  245 

A  Guido  Cavalcanti  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Beyond  the  Sphere  Which  Turns  Most  Distant  245 

Oltre  la  spera,  che  piii  larga  gira  Maurice  Valency 

Nothing  Will  Ever  Seem  to  Me  More  Cruel  246 

Nidla  mi  parve  mai  piu  crudel  cosa  Judith  Goode 

To  a  Short  Day  and  a  Great  Ring  of  Shadow  247 

Al  poco  giomo,  ed  al  gran  cerchio  d'ombra 

Sonia  Raiziss  and  Alfredo  de  Palchi 

1  Seek  to  Make  My  Speech  a  Yawp  as  Bitter  248 

Cosi  nel  mio  parlor  Leslie  A.  Fiedler 

Dante  and  Forese  Donati 

Tenzone  Sequence  James  J.  Wilhelm      250 

ClNO  DA  PlSTOIA  (C.   I27O-I336) 

Ah  Me,  Alas!  Am  I  So  Very  Base  253 

Oime  lasso!  or  sonvi  tanto  a  noia  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Love  Is  a  Subtle  Spirit  That  Can  Slay  253 

Amore  e  uno  spirito  ch'ancide  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Ah,  Woe  to  Me  Alas,  for  Love  Has  Bound  254 

Ome  ch'io  sono  all' amoroso  nodo  Daniel  J.  Donno 

Onesto  da  Bologna  (fl.  1301 ) 
To  Cino  da  Pistoia  254 

A  Cino  da  Pistoia  Maurice  Valency 

204  Italy 

Francesco  Petrarch  (1304-1374) 
If  Life  Survives  These  Years  of  Bitter  Woe  255 

Se  la  mia  vita  da  Vaspro  tormento  Maurice  Valency 

It  Is  the  Evening  Hour;  the  Rapid  Sky  256 

Ne  la  stagion  che  'I  del  rapido  inchina  Morris  Bishop 

Father  in  Heaven,  after  Each  Lost  Day  258 

Padre  del  ciel,  dopo  i  perduti  giorni  Bernard  Bergonzi 

She  Used  to  Let  Her  Golden  Hair  Fly  Free  259 

Erano  i  capei  d'oro  a  Vaura  sparsi  Morris  Bishop 

Pale  Beauty!  and  a  Smile  the  Pallor  There  260 

Quel  vago  impallidir  che  'I  dolce  riso  Edwin  Morgan 

From  Thought  to  Thought,  from  Mountain  Peak  to  Mountain      262 
Di  pensier  in  pensier,  di  monte  in  monte  Morris  Bishop 

I  Find  No  Peace,  yet  Am  Not  Armed  for  War  262 

Pace  non  trovo,  e  non  o  da  far  guerra  Maurice  Valency 

Now  Skies  and  Earth  Are  Stilled  and  Winds  Are  Dead 

Or  che  'I  ciel  e  la  terra  e  'I  vento  tace  Dwight  Durling 

Absorbed  in  One  Fond  Thought  That  Makes  Me  Run 

Pien  d'un  vago  penser  che  me  desvia  Dwight  Durling 

The  Woods  Are  Wild  and  Were  Not  Made  for  Man 

Per  mezz  i  boschi  inospiti  e  selvaggi  Edwin  Morgan 

Love,  We  Attend  the  Vision  of  the  Rose 

Stiamo,  Amor,  a  veder  la  gloria  nostra  Peter  Russell 

Nowhere  So  Clearly  Have  My  Inward  Eyes 

Mai  non  fui  in  parte  ove  si  chiar  vedessi  Dwight  Durling 

The  Eyes  That  Drew  from  Me  Such  Fervent  Praise  266 

Gli  occhi  di  ch'io  parlai  si  caldamente  Edwin  Morgan 

Great  Is  My  Envy  of  You,  Earth,  in  Your  Greed  266 

Quanta  invidia  io  ti  porto,  avara  terra  Edwin  Morgan 

The  Nightingale  Whose  Ardent,  Soft  Despair  267 

Quel  rosignuol  che  si  soave  piagne  Dwight  Durling 

Go,  Grieving  Rimes  of  Mine,  to  That  Hard  Stone  267 

Ite,  rime  dolenti,  al  duro  sasso  Morris  Bishop 

Small  Wandering  Bird  Who  Singing  Go  Your  Way  268 

Vago  augelletto  che  cantando  vai  Peter  Russell 

Death  Cannot  Sour  the  Sweetness  of  Her  Face  269 

Non  po  far  Morte  il  dolce  viso  amaro  Morris  Bishop 

taly  205 

Fazio  degli  Uberti  (c.  131 0-1370) 
Gaze  upon  Her  Light  Crisp-Curling  Hair  269 

lo  guardo  i  crespi  e  li  biondi  capelli  Dwight  Durling 

Franco  Sacchetti  (1 335-1 400) 
Kn  Amorous  Thorn  272 

Inamorato  Pruno  Daniel  J.  Donno 

3  Lovely  Mountain  Shepherd  Lasses  273 

O  vaghe  montanine  pasturelle  Maurice  Valency 

^Jotes  and  Biographical  Sketches  274 



Ah  Me  Poor  Wretch,  Who  Loved  a  Falcon 
"Tafina  oi  me,  ctiamava  uno  Sforviero 

Ah  me  poor  wretch,  who  loved  a  falcon: 
loved  and  nearly  died  of  it! 
He  was  docile  to  my  beck  and  call, 
and  little  would  he  want  or  get. 
Now  he's  climbed  the  sky  and  taken 
like  a  lord  to  his  uncommon  height, 
and  settled  in  a  strange  garden  : 
another  woman  keeps  him  strait. 

My  falcon,  I  fostered  you 

and  had  you  wear  a  bell  of  gold 

to  make  your  hunting  flight  bolder; 

then  rising  like  the  sea, 

you  soared  away  and  burst  your  bond, 

when  you  were  sure  of  your  game  and  ground. 

sonia  raiziss  and  ALFREDO  de  palchi 


The  Canticle  of  the  Creatures 
Cantico  delle  Creature 

Most  High,  almighty,  good  Lord  God, 

Thine  are  the  praise,  the  honor  and  the  glory 

And  every  blessing  due. 

Thine  alone,  Most  High, 

And  no  man  is  worthy  to  mention  Thee. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  with  all  Thy  creatures, 
Especially  our  brother,  the  sun, 

t.  Francis  of  Assisi  207 

Who  brings  the  day  and  shows  Thy  light. 
For  he  is  fair  and  radiant  with  great  splendor 
And  draws  his  meaning,  O  Most  High,  from  Thee. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  our  sister,  the  moon, 

And  the  stars,  set  precious,  clear,  and  fair  in  Heaven. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  our  brother,  the  wind, 
For  air  and  clouds,  and  every  sort  of  weather 
By  which  Thou  givest  sustenance  to  all. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  sister  water, 

For  she  is  useful,  precious,  humble,  and  most  chaste. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  brother  fire, 

Thy  beacon  in  the  night, 

For  he  is  gay  and  fair  and  vigorous  and  strong. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  our  sister,  mother  earth, 

Who  gives  us  nourishment  and  life 

And  many  fruits,  bright  flowerlets  and  grass. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  those  who  loving  Thee,  forgive, 

And  bear  trials  and  tribulations. 

Blessed  are  those  who  peacefully  endure, 

For  by  Thee,  Most  High,  they  shall  be  crowned. 

Be  praised,  my  Lord,  for  our  sister,  carnal  death, 
From  whom  no  living  man  escapes: 
Woe  to  those  who  die  in  mortal  sin; 
Blessed  be  those  who  do  Thy  holy  will, 
For  the  second  death  shall  spare  them. 

Praise  and  bless  my  Lord,  and  give  Him  thanks, 
And  serve  Him  very  humbly  all  thy  days. 


2o8  Italy 


I  Have  Set  My  Heart  on  Serving  God 

lo  m'agio  fosto  in  core  a  Dio  servire 

I  have  set  my  heart  on  serving  God 

So  that  I  may  go  to  Paradise, 

To  the  holy  place  where,  I  have  heard, 

There  is  every  pleasure,  sport  and  laughter — 

I  should  not  wish  to  go  there  without  my  lady, 
She  of  the  blond  head  and  shining  face, 
For  without  her  I  should  not  enjoy  myself, 
Being  severed  from  my  lady. 

But  I  say  this  not  in  the  sense 

That  I  should  not  wish  to  commit  a  sin 

In  that  place —  All  I  desire  is  to  look 

At  her  fine  figure  and  her  languorous  eyes, 
For  it  would  give  me  great  delight 
To  contemplate  my  lady  in  her  glory. 


The  Frightful  Basilisk,  Most  Poisonous 
Guardando   l  basalisco  velenoso 

The  frightful  basilisk,  most  poisonous, 
That  slays  its  victim  with  a  single  glance, 
The  slithery  asp,  of  snakes  most  envious, 
Whose  artful  fangs  are  keener  than  a  lance, 
The  haughty  drake,  whose  look  imperious 

Cielo  d'Alcamo  209 

Is  direst  omen  of  most  dire  mischance — 
These  I  compare  to  love,  most  dolorous, 
Oh  most  tormenting,  dreadful  circumstance! 
For  love,  by  nature,  as  all  lovers  know, 
With  but  one  look  defeats  the  boldest  knight 
And  artfully  contrives  his  sorest  woe, 
Offending  out  of  pride  and  out  of  spite. 
Whom  Love  possesses  has  but  pains  to  show; 
Who  takes  Love  for  his  lord  is  conquered  quite! 



Thou  Sweetly-Smelling  Fresh  Red  Rose 

Rosa  fresca  aulentissima 

he  :   Thou  sweetly-smelling  fresh  red  rose 
That  near  thy  summer  art, 
Of  whom  each  damsel  and  each  dame 
Would  fain  be  counterpart; 
O!  from  this  fire  to  draw  me  forth 
Be  it  in  thy  good  heart: 
For  night  or  day  there  is  no  rest  with  me, 
Thinking  of  none,  my  lady,  but  of  thee. 

she:   If  thou  hast  set  thy  thoughts  on  me, 
Thou  hast  done  a  foolish  thing. 
Yea,  all  the  pine-wood  of  this  world 
Together  might'st  thou  bring, 
And  make  thee  ships,  and  plow  the  sea 
Therewith  for  corn-sowing, 
Ere  any  way  to  win  me  could  be  found: 
For  I  am  going  to  shear  my  locks  all  round. 

HE:   Lady,  before  thou  shear  thy  locks 
I  hope  I  may  be  dead: 
For  I  should  lose  such  joy  thereby 

21  o  Italy 

And  gain  such  grief  instead. 

Merely  to  pass  and  look  at  thee, 

Rose  of  the  garden-bed, 

Has  comforted  me  much,  once  and  again. 

Oh!  if  thou  wouldst  but  love,  what  were  it  then! 

she  :   Nay,  though  my  heart  were  prone  to  love, 
I  would  not  grant  it  leave. 
Hark!  should  my  father  or  his  kin 
But  find  thee  here  this  eve, 
Thy  loving  body  and  lost  breath 
Our  moat  may  well  receive. 
Whatever  path  to  come  here  thou  dost  know, 
By  the  same  path  I  counsel  thee  to  go. 

he:   And  if  thy  kinsfolk  find  me  here, 
Shall  I  be  drowned  then?  Marry, 
I'll  set,  for  price  against  my  head, 
Two  thousand  agostari. 
I  think  thy  father  would  not  do't 
For  all  his  lands  in  Bari. 
Long  life  to  the  Emperor!  Be  God's  praise! 
Thou  hear'st,  my  beauty,  what  thy  servant  says. 

she:   And  am  I  then  to  have  no  peace 
Morning  or  evening? 
I  have  strong  coffers  of  my  own 
And  much  good  gold  therein; 
So  that  if  thou  couldst  offer  me 
The  wealth  of  Saladin, 
And  add  to  that  the  Soldan's  money-hoard, 
Thy  suit  would  not  be  anything  toward. 

he:   I  have  known  many  women,  love, 

Whose  thoughts  were  high  and  proud, 
And  yet  have  been  made  gentle  by 
Man's  speech  not  over-loud. 
If  we  but  press  ye  long  enough, 
At  length  ye  will  be  bow'd; 

d'Alcamo  211 

For  still  a  woman's  weaker  than  a  man. 
When  the  end  comes,  recall  how  this  began. 

God  grant  that  I  may  die  before 

Any  such  end  do  come, — 

Before  the  sight  of  a  chaste  maid 

Seem  to  me  troublesome! 

I  marked  thee  here  all  yestereve 

Lurking  about  my  home, 

And  now  I  say,  Leave  climbing,  lest  thou  fall, 

For  these  thy  words  delight  me  not  at  all. 

How  many  are  the  cunning  chains 

Thou  hast  wound  round  my  heart! 

Only  to  think  upon  thy  voice 

Sometimes  I  groan  apart. 

For  I  did  never  love  a  maid 

Of  this  world,  as  thou  art, 

So  much  as  I  love  thee,  thou  crimson  rose. 

Thou  wilt  be  mine  at  last;  this  my  soul  knows. 

If  I  could  think  it  would  be  so, 

Small  pride  it  were  of  mine 

That  all  my  beauty  should  be  meant 

But  to  make  thee  to  shine. 

Sooner  than  stoop  to  that,  I'd  shear 

These  golden  tresses  fine, 

And  make  one  of  some  holy  sisterhood; 

Escaping  so  thy  love,  which  is  not  good. 

If  thou  unto  the  cloister  fly, 

Thou  cruel  lady  and  cold, 

Unto  the  cloister  I  will  come 

And  by.  the  cloister  hold; 

For  such  a  conquest  liketh  me 

Much  better  than  much  gold; 

At  matins  and  at  vespers  I  shall  be 

Still  where  thou  art.  Have  I  not  conquered  thee? 

2,12  Italy 

she:   Out  and  alack!  wherefore  am  I 
Tormented  in  suchwise? 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Savior, 
In  whom  my  best  hope  lies, 
O  give  me  strength  that  I  may  hush 
This  vain  man's  blasphemies! 

Let  him  seek  through  the  earth;  'tis  long  and  broad: 
He  will  find  fairer  damsels,  O  my  God! 

he:   I  have  sought  through  Calabria, 
Lombardy,  and  Tuscany, 
Constantinople,  Apulia, 
Genoa,  Pisa,  Syria, 
Yea,  even  to  Babylon  I  went 
And  distant  Barbary: 
But  not  a  woman  found  I  anywhere 
Equal  to  thee,  who  art  indeed  most  fair. 

she:    If  thou  have  all  this  love  for  me, 
Thou  canst  no  better  do 
Than  ask  me  of  my  father  dear 
And  my  dear  mother  too: 
They  willing,  to  the  abbey-church 
We  will  together  go, 

And,  before  Advent,  thou  and  I  will  wed; 
After  the  which,  I'll  do  as  thou  hast  said. 

HE:   These  thy  conditions,  lady  mine, 
Are  together  nought: 
Despite  of  them,  I'll  make  a  net 
Wherein  thou  shalt  be  caught. 
What,  wilt  thou  put  on  wings  to  Ayr5 
Nay,  but  of  wax  they're  wrought, — 
They'll  let  thee  fall  to  earth,  not  rise  with  thee: 
So,  if  thou  canst,  then  keep  thyself  from  me. 

she:   Think  not  to  fright  me  with  thy  nets 
And  suchlike  childish  gear; 
I  am  safe  pent  within  the  walls 

Cielo  d'Alcamo  213 

Of  this  strong  castle  here; 

A  boy  before  he  is  a  man 

Could  give  me  as  much  fear. 

If  suddenly  thou  get  not  hence  again, 

It  is  my  prayer  thou  mayst  be  found  and  slain. 

he:   Wouldst  thou  in  very  truth  that  I 
Were  slain,  and  for  thv  sake? 
Then  let  them  hew  me  to  such  mince 
As  a  man's  limbs  may  make! 
But  meanwhile  I  shall  not  stir  hence 
Till  of  that  fruit  I  take 

Which  thou  hast  in  thy  garden,  ripe  enough: 
All  day  and  night  I  thirst  to  think  thereof. 

she:   None  have  partaken  of  that  fruit, 
Not  Counts  nor  Cavaliers: 
Though  many  have  reached  up  for  it, 
Barons  and  great  Seigneurs, 
They  all  went  hence  in  wrath  because 
They  could  not  make  it  theirs. 
Then  how  canst  thou  think  to  succeed  alone 
Who  hast  not  a  thousand  ounces  of  thine  own? 

he:    How  many  nosegays  I  have  sent 
Unto  thy  house,  sweet  soul! 
At  least  till  I  am  put  to  proof, 
This  scorn  of  thine  control. 
For  if  the  wind,  so  fair  for  thee, 
Turn  ever  and  wax  foul, 
Be  sure  that  thou  shalt  say  when  all  is  done, 
"Now  is  my  heart  heavy  for  him  that's  gone." 

she  :   If  by  grief  thou  couldst  be  grieved, 
God  send  me  a  grief  soon! 
I  tell  thee  that  though  all  my  friends 
Prayed  me  as  for  a  boon, 
Saying,  "Even  for  the  love  of  us, 
Love  thou  this  worthless  loon," 

214  Italy 

Thou  shouldst  not  have  the  thing  that  thou  dost  hope. 
No,  verily:  not  for  the  realm  o'  the  Pope. 

HE:    Now  could  I  wish  that  I  in  truth 
Were  dead  here  in  thy  house: 
My  soul  would  get  its  vengeance  then; 
Once  known,  the  thing  w7ould  rouse 
A  rabble,  and  they'd  point  and  say, — 
"Lo!  she  that  breaks  her  vows, 
And,  in  her  dainty  chamber,  stabs!"  Love,  see: 
One  strikes  just  thus:  it  is  soon  done,  pardie! 

she:   If  now  thou  do  not  hasten  hence, 
(My  curse  companioning,) 
That  my  stout  friends  will  find  thee  here 
Is  a  most  certain  thing: 
After  the  which,  my  gallant  sir, 
Thy  points  of  reasoning 

May  chance,  I  think,  to  stand  thee  in  small  stead, 
Thou  hast  no  friend,  sweet  friend,  to  bring  thee  aid. 

he:   Thou  sayst  truly,  saying  that 
I  have  not  any  friend: 
A  landless  stranger,  lady  mine, 
None  but  his  sword  defend. 
One  year  ago,  my  love  began, 
And  now,  is  this  the  end? 
Oh!  the  rich  dress  thou  worest  on  that  day 
Since  when  thou  art  walking  at  my  side  alway! 

she:    So  'twas  my  dress  enamored  thee! 
What  marvel?  I  did  wear 
A  cloth  of  samite  silver-flowered, 
And  gems  within  my  hair. 
But  one  more  word;  if  on  Christ's  Book 
To  wed  me  thou  didst  swear, 
There's  nothing  now  could  win  me  to  be  thine: 
I  had  rather  make  mv  bed  in  the  sea-brine. 

Cielo  d'Alcamo  215 

HE:   And  if  thou  make  thy  bed  therein, 
Most  courteous  lady  and  bland, 
I'll  follow  all  among  the  waves, 
Paddling  with  foot  and  hand; 
Then,  when  the  sea  hath  done  with  thee, 
I'll  seek  thee  on  the  sand. 
For  I  will  not  be  conquered  in  this  strife: 
I'll  wait,  but  win;  or  losing,  lose  my  life. 

she:   For  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost, 
Three  times  I  cross  myself. 
Thou  art  no  godless  heretic, 
Nor  Jew,  whose  God's  his  pelf: 
Even  as  I  know  it  then,  meseems, 
Thou  needs  must  know  thyself 
That  woman,  when  the  breath  in  her  doth  cease, 
Loseth  all  savor  and  all  loveliness. 

he:   Woe's  me!  Perforce  it  must  be  said 
No  craft  could  then  avail : 
So  that  if  thou  be  thus  resolved, 
I  know  my  suit  must  fail. 
Then  have  some  pity,  of  thy  grace! 
Thou  may'st,  love,  very  well; 
For  though  thou  love  not  me,  my  love  is  such 
That  'tis  enough  for  both — yea  overmuch. 

she:   Is  it  even  so?  Learn  then  that  I 
Do  love  thee  from  my  heart. 
To-morrow,  early  in  the  day, 
Come  here,  but  now  depart. 
By  thine  obedience  in  this  thing 
I  shall  know  what  thou  art, 
And  if  thy  love  be  real  or  nothing  worth; 
Do  but  go  now,  and  I  am  thine  henceforth. 

he:   Nay,  for  such  promise,  my  own  life, 
I  will  not  stir  a  foot. 
I've  said,  if  thou  wouldst  tear  away 


My  love  even  from  its  root, 
I  have  a  dagger  at  my  side 
Which  thou  mayst  take  to  do't; 
But  as  for  going  hence,  it  will  not  be. 

0  hate  me  not!  my  heart  is  burning  me. 

she:   Think'st  thou  I  know  not  that  thy  heart 
Is  hot  and  burns  to  death? 
Of  all  that  thou  or  I  can  say, 
But  one  word  succoreth. 
Till  thou  upon  the  Holy  Book 
Give  me  thy  bounden  faith, 
God  is  my  witness  that  I  will  not  yield: 
For  with  thy  sword  'twere  better  to  be  kill'd. 

he  :   Then  on  Christ's  Book,  borne  with  me  still 
To  read  from  and  to  pray, 
(I  took  it,  fairest,  in  a  church, 
The  priest  being  gone  away,) 

1  swear  that  my  whole  self  shall  be 
Thine  always  from  this  day. 

And  now  at  once  give  joy  for  all  my  grief, 
Lest  my  soul  fly,  that's  thinner  than  a  leaf. 

she:   Now  that  this  oath  is  sworn,  sweet  lord, 
There  is  no  need  to  speak : 
My  heart,  that  was  so  strong  before, 
Now  feels  itself  grow  weak, 
If  any  of  my  words  were  harsh, 
Thy  pardon :  I  am  meek 
Now,  and  will  give  thee  entrance  presently. 
It  is  best  so,  sith  so  it  was  to  be. 


Enzo  Re  217 


Time  Comes  for  Those  Ascending  to  Descend 

Tempo  vene  che  sale  a  chi  discende 

Time  comes  for  those  ascending  to  descend, 
For  those  who  talk  to  lend  an  ear  instead, 
For  those  who  learn  to  pause  and  comprehend; 
Time  comes  for  scanted  duties  to  be  sped, 
For  dire  revenge  on  those  who  dare  offend, 
For  threatening  deeds  in  place  of  timid  dread; 
Time  comes  to  scorn  what  others  reprehend, 
Or  feign  forbearance  of  what's  seen  or  said. 
Therefore,  him  only  call  I  sagely  wise, 
Whose  actions  spring  from  reason's  plain  decree, 
And  bides  with  what  occasion  may  proclaim. 
Such  conduct  will  find  praise  in  all  men's  eyes; 
For  where  all  doing  keeps  its  due  degree, 
Excess,  being  absent,  leaves  no  room  for  blame. 


Love  Often  Agitates  My  Heart  to  Thought 
Amove  mi  fa  sovente  lo  meo  core  pensare 

(The  complaint  of  Enzo  Re  from  his  prison 
palace  in  Bologna^) 

Love  often  agitates  my  heart  to  thought 

Sending  me  painful  sighs 

For  while  I  wait,  fear  rules  the  lot 

Of  all  future  enterprise. 

No,  I'm  not  afraid  my  sweet  hope  there 

May  prove  untrue; 

2i  8  Italy 

Only — that  while  I  sit  here  in  despair 
A  worse  fate  looms  in  view. 

Then  I'm  afraid  till  in  my  inner  eye 

I  see  her  noble  qualities. 

If  I'm  too  long  delayed,  I'll  surely  die. 

O,  bitterly  love  holds  me 

Tightly  snared,  an  animal  caught  at  chase, 

With  no  thought  of  other  ease. 

Yet  I'm  prepared  to  see  her  lovely  face, 

Holding  her  long  in  peace. 

I  have  no  joy.  So  great  is  my  torment 

I  know  no  quietness. 

Hope,  alone  my  buoy,  keeps  me  ever  bent 

On  quick  flight  from  distress 

Away  to  that  most  loving  lady  of  praise 

Who  owns,  who  holds  me  in  her  might. 

With  no  other  let  me  live  out  my  days 

Keeping  her  sole  lady  of  delight. 

Still  as  I  wait  so  long  and  never  see 

Her  cherished  face, 

Her  noble  quality,  there  steals  upon  me 

Persistent  hope  for  grace 

By  doing  her  pleasure;  ready  for  decreeing 

I  stand,  far  from  sin's  regret. 

But  listen!  Loving  without  seeing 

Makes  even  noble  lovers  forget. 

Go,  greet  that  lord,  my  little  song: 

Tell  him  the  evils  that  I  bore 

From  one  who  holds  me,  his  ward,  in  wrong 

So  that  I  can  live  no  more. 

Also  greet  Tuscany,  that  supreme  domain, 

Where  courtliness  reigns  in  every  way. 

Then,  to  her  castle  in  Apulia's  plain: 

There  where  my  heart  is,  night  and  day. 


Guido  Guinizelli  219 


The  Gentle  Heart 
Al  cor  gentil 

Love  to  the  gentle  heart  will  hasten  straight 

As  birds  that  seek  the  foliage  of  the  glade, 

Nor  Nature  first  did  gentle  heart  create 

Nor  love,  till  gentle  heart  for  love  was  made. 

For  only  when  the  sun 

Shines  forth  is  splendor  given  light, 

Which  dies  having  no  sun; 

So  love  in  gentleness  alone  finds  place, 

Most  fittingly  aright, 

Like  heat  within  the  glowing  flame's  embrace. 

Love's  fire  to  the  gentle  heart  intends 

As  special  virtue  to  the  precious  stone 

To  which  no  power  of  starry  sphere  descends 

Until  the  purging  sun  thereon  has  shone 

And  by  its  strength  drawn  forth 

All  that  which  it  possessed  of  dross  before. 

As  to  the  stone  its  worth, 

So  to  the  heart  which  Nature  did  devise 

Gentle  and  chaste  and  pure 

Love  comes,  as  from  a  star,  in  woman's  guise. 

Love  dwells  in  gentle  hearts  by  that  same  right 

By  which  the  flame  that  wraps  the  burning  brand 

Dances  upon  the  summit  in  delight 

And,  being  proud,  bows  down  to  no  command. 

But  the  corrupted  will 

Encounters  love,  as  fire,  burning  apace, 

Encounters  water's  chill. 

In  gentle  heart  love  finds  its  native  shore, 

Affinity  of  place, 

As  does  the  magnet  in  the  iron's  core. 

220  Italy 

If  the  sun  shone  all  day  upon  the  mud, 

Mud  it  would  stay,  nor  would  the  sun  lose  dignity. 

The  proud  man  says,  "Gentle  am  I  by  blood." 

Yet  he  is  mud;  the  sun,  gentility. 

For  men  must  not  proclaim 

Nobility  resides  outside  their  hearts 

In  dignity  of  name. 

The  gentle  heart  virtue  alone  may  tender: 

Through  water  starlight  darts; 

Heaven  retains  the  star,  the  star  its  splendor. 

On  heaven's  Intelligence  God's  light  prevails 

Brighter  than  sunlight  on  our  earthly  eyes; 

And  she  whose  understanding  nothing  veils, 

Turning  the  spheres,  obeying  Him,  replies; 

And  thus  His  high  decree 

Becomes  fulfillment  of  the  Primal  Will. 

So  must  fair  woman  be: 

Within  the  gentle  heart  her  glance  will  stir 

True  love  and  that  desire  instill 

To  seek  perfection  by  obeying  her. 

"Sir,"  God  will  say  to  me,  "what  act  is  this?" 

(When  my  soul  stands  before  his  judgment  throne.) 

"You  came  through  all  the  heavens  in  quest  of  bliss, 

Yet  you  gave  love  elsewhere  that's  Mine  alone; 

That  praise  to  Me  is  due, 

Or  to  the  Queen  who  rules  with  that  sweet  grace 

That  can  all  sin  undo." 

Then  I  shall  say,  "She  seemed  an  angel  fair 

Whose  steps  I  could  retrace. 

If  I  gave  her  my  love,  what  fault  was  there?" 


Rinaldo  d' Aquino  221 


To  Guido  Guinizelli: 

Now  That  You  Have  Changed  the  Manner 

A  Guido  Guinizelli:  Poi  ctiavete  mutat 

Now  that  you  have  changed  the  manner 

Of  the  pleasant  songs  of  love, 

Their  form  and  essence, 

So  as  to  overgo  all  other  poets, 

You  have  become  as  a  torch  which  shines 
In  the  darkness,  but  which  pales 
Wherever  the  sun  sheds  its  light, 
Which  far  exceeds  your  own. 

Indeed,  you  surpass  all  the  world  in  subtlety, 

And  there  is  no  one  who  can 

Interpret  your  language  properly,  so  dark  it  is! 

But  it  is  considered  a  strange  business — 
Although  learning  comes  to  us  from  Bologna — 
To  make  love-songs  out  of  science. 



No  More  Shall  I  Take  Comfort 
Gia  mai  non  mi  conforto 

No  more  shall  I  take  comfort, 
No  joy  is  left  to  me. 
The  ships  are  ready  in  the  port 
And  waiting  anxiously. 
The  many  folks  are  leaving 

ini  Italy 

For  lands  beyond  the  sea, 
And  I,  alas,  am  grieving. 
What  cause  have  I  for  glee? 

He  sails  to  far-off  countries 
And  sends  to  me  no  word. 
Alone,  deceived,  I  have  no  ease; 
My  sighs  cannot  be  heard. 
They  strive  and  war  within  me; 
Ah,  night  and  day  they  strive! 
Lost,  while  all  eaTth  and  heaven  flee, 
I  scarcely  seem  alive. 

Oh  God  of  our  salvation, 
Born  of  the  Virgin  pure, 
Who  willed  our  separation, 
Now  keep  my  love  secure. 
Oh  Lord  supreme  in  power, 
Oh  wisest  and  most  fair, 
My  love  at  every  hour 
I  yield  unto  your  care. 

The  cross  of  our  salvation 
Is  cause  of  my  despair; 
The  cross,  my  deprivation, 
And  God  heeds  not  my  prayer. 
Oh  cross  that  pilgrims  carry 
Why  do  you  harm  me  so? 
Alas,  a  wretch,  I  tarry 
From  fever  all  aglow. 

The  emperor  by  stern  decree 
Keeps  peace  where  he  holds  sway; 
And  yet  he  wages  war  on  me 
And  steals  my  hope  away. 
Oh  Lord  supreme  in  power, 
Oh  wisest  and  most  fair, 
My  love  at  every  hour 
I  yield  unto  your  care. 

Guittone  d'Arezzo  223 

When  he  became  crusader 
Surely  I  did  not  know 
That  he,  my  sweet  persuader — 
My  love  who  loved  me  so — 
Would  lead  me  to  this  anguish 
And  lock  my  heart  away. 
A  prisoner,  I  languish; 
My  life  has  lost  its  day. 

The  ships  at  anchor  riding 
Await  fair  winds  to  start; 
And  all  with  him  wait  tiding 
Who  bears  away  my  heart. 
Oh  Father  who  did  make  us, 
Pray,  guide  them  safe  to  shore; 
They  journey  in  your  service 
To  free  the  cross  you  bore. 

And  you,  my  dear  Dolcetto, 
You  know  the  pain  I  bear; 
Write  me  a  sweet  sonetto 
To  send  when  you  are  there; 
For  I  have  nothing  to  withstand 
This  everlasting  strife. 
My  love's  gone  to  the  Holy  Land 
And  with  him  goes  my  life. 



Have  Mercy,  Love!  Give  Ear 

Amor,  merze,  intende  s'eo  ragione 

Have  mercy,  Love!  Give  ear, 

For  I  seek  justice  at  your  court: 

You  have  taken  away  my  liberty, 

And  delivered  me  into  the  power  of  my  lady, 

224  Italy 

And  always,  in  every  way,  you  oppose  me — 

But  why,  since  I  am  in  your  hands? 

Why  do  you  not  strike  her  instead, 

Who  with  her  wit  and  her  will  makes  war  against  you? 

You  show  yourself  an  unjust  lord 
If  you  spare  her  and  seek  my  death; 
Unless  it  is  that  you  lack  the  power. 

Very  easily,  I  believe,  you  could  have  her  for  your  vassal, 

But  if  you  cannot  subdue  her, 

At  least  have  mercy  on  me,  who  am  your  servant. 



O  Love,  All  Love  Above 
Amor  de  caritate,  ferche  m'hai  si  ferito? 

O  Love,  all  love  above, 

Why  hast  thou  struck  me  so? 

All  my  heart,  broke  atwo, 

Consumed  in  flames  of  love, 
Burning  and  flaming  cannot  find  solace; 
It  cannot  fly  from  torment,  being  bound; 
Like  wax  among  live  coal  it  melts  apace; 
It  languishes  alive,  no  help  being  found; 
Seeking  a  grace  to  fly  a  little  space, 
A  glowing  furnace  is  its  narrow  pound. 

In  such  a  deadly  swound, 

Alas,  where  am  I  brought? 

Living  with  death  so  fraught! 

O  leaping  flames  of  love! 

Before  I  ventured  forth  I  dared  demand 
The  love  of  Christ,  expecting  only  sweet; 
Thinking  in  peace  of  sweetness  I  could  stand 

Jacopone  da  Todi  225 

Without  a  pain;  but,  being  come  to  it, 
I  suffer  torments  of  a  molten  brand; 
And  all  my  heart  is  melted  by  its  heat. 

I  find  no  figure  meet 

To  tell  this  curious  smart, 

To  live  without  a  heart, 

Daily  to  die  of  love. 

Ah!  I  have  lost  my  heart  and  all  my  sense, 

Desire  and  all  delight  and  all  sensation; 

All  beauty  seemeth  filth  to  me;  and  hence 

Pleasaunce  and  power  of  riches  are  damnation. 

A  laden  tree  of  love  for  recompense, 

Set  in  my  heart,  doth  yield  me  consolation; 

Maketh  great  alteration; 

Doth  brook  no  least  delay; 

Thrusts  out  and  drives  away 

Sense,  strength  and  my  self-love. 

To  purchase  this  one  thing  I  ventured  all 
The  world;  in  this  exchange  gave  all  I  had. 
If  I  had  all  things  ever  made,  to  call 
My  own,  I  give  them  freely  and  were  glad. 
But  love  deceived  me  somewhat;  I  gave  all, 
And  now  I  know  not  whither  I  am  led. 

And  people  think  me  mad. 

Now  that  I  have  been  bought; 

They  set  my  worth  at  naught; 

I  am  undone  by  love. 

My  friends  imagined  they  could  call  me  back; 
My  friends  who  travel  by  another  road; 
The  slave  is  helpless  to  forsake  his  track, 
Nor  can  the  bondman  lay  aside  his  load. 
Sooner  the  stone  might  soften  and  be  slack 
Than  love,  who  holds  me  in  his  strait  abode. 

Oh,  to  my  soul  a  goad! 

Love  burns  it  through  and  through. 

226  Italy 

Transformed,  united,  who 
Can  sunder  it  from  love? 

Not  iron  nor  the  fire  can  separate 

Or  sunder  those  whom  love  doth  so  unite. 

Not  suffering  nor  death  can  reach  the  state 

To  which  my  soul  is  ravished.  From  its  height, 

Beneath  it,  lo!  it  sees  all  things  create; 

It  dominates  the  range  of  dimmest  sight. 

My  soul,  by  what  a  flight 

Hast  thou  this  high  reward? 

It  is  of  Christ  the  Lord; 

Embrace  the  Lord  of  love. 

I  have  no  longer  eyes  for  forms  of  creatures. 

I  cry  to  him  who  doth  alone  endure. 

Though  earth  and  heaven  exhaust  their  varied  natures, 

Through  love  their  forms  are  thin  and  no  wise  sure. 

When  I  had  looked  upon  his  splendid  features, 

Light  of  the  sun  itself  was  grown  obscure. 

Cherubim,  rare  and  pure 

By  knowledge  and  high  thought, 

The  Seraphim,  are  naught 

To  him  who  looks  on  love. 

If  such  a  love  confoundeth  all  my  wit, 
Against  me  let  no  blame  henceforth  be  held. 
No  heart  could  fly  if  love  should  beckon  it. 
No  heart  could  brave  the  anguish  I  have  felt. 
How  is  it  able  to  endure  such  heat? 
How  is  it  that  the  poor  heart  doth  not  melt? 

Ah!  if  I  but  beheld 

A  soul  to  take  a  part 

Of  pity  for  my  heart, 

To  know  the  pains  thereof! 

I  would  love  more  and  better  if  I  could. 
My  heart  hath  uttered  all  it  ever  knew. 
I  am  not  able,  freely  as  I  would- 

Jacopone  da  Todi  227 

To  give  the  already  given  gift  anew. 
I  gave  myself,  to  hold,  for  all  my  good, 
This  Lover  who  reneweth  bone  and  thew. 

Beauty  antique  and  new, 

Since  that  my  heart  hath  found 

Light  without  pause  or  bound; 

Oh,  splendor  of  thy  love! 

Seeing  such  wealth  of  beauty,  I  am  drawn 
Without  myself;  am  borne  I  know  not  where. 
My  heart  doth  yield,  and,  being  held  in  pawn, 
Like  wax  receives  the  seal  love  setteth  there. 
So  rash  a  bargain  never  yet  was  drawn. 
To  put  on  Christ  I  strip  me  stark  and  bare. 

My  heart,  transformed  and  fair, 

For  very  love  doth  weep; 

Waves  of  its  sweetness  steep 

My  heart  in  boundless  love. 

My  soul  transformed,  almost  the  very  Christ; 
One  with  her  God,  she  is  almost  divine; 
Riches  above  all  riches  to  be  priced, 
All  that  is  Christ's  is  hers,  and  she  is  queen. 
How  can  I  still  be  sad,  despair-enticed, 
Or  ask  for  medicines  to  cure  my  spleen? 

The  fetid  sweet  from  sin, 

With  sweetness  overspread; 

The  old  forgot  and  dead,  . 

In  the  new  reign  of  love. 

In  Christ  a  goodly  creature  am  I  born. 
The  old  stripped  off,  I  am  a  new  made  man. 
But  with  a  knife  my  heart  is  gashed  and  torn, 
Where  flaming  love,  a  molten  metal,  ran. 
Wisdom  and  sense  burnt  off  and  wholly  shorn 
Christ  is  my  own,  and  beauty  beyond  ken. 

Flung  in  his  arms'  great  span, 

The  cry  of  love  rings  higher: 

228  Italy 

Love,  whom  I  so  desire, 
Make  me  to  die  of  love. 

For  thee,  for  love,  I  languish  and  I  burn. 
I  sigh  for  thy  embraces  soon  and  late. 
When  thou  art  hence,  I  live  and  die;  I  yearn 
And  groan  and  whine  in  very  piteous  state 
To  find  thee;  and  my  heart,  at  thy  return, 
Fainteth  with  fear  lest  aught  should  separate. 

Therefore  no  longer  wait. 

Come,  love,  to  succor  me. 

Compel  me;  bound  to  thee, 

Consume  my  heart  with  love. 

I  am  grown  dumb,  discreet  discourse  who  held. 
Once  I  could  see  the  light  who  now  am  blind. 
Such  an  abyss  has  never  been  beheld. 
But  mute,  I  speak;  I  fly,  in  chains  confined; 
Falling  I  mount;  I  hold  and  am  compelled; 
I  follow,  my  pursuer  pants  behind. 

O  passion  unconfined! 

My  folly  is  complete, 

By  reason  of  the  heat, 

The  fury  of  the  stove. 


Virtue  availeth  not  without  control. 
Control  the  love  wherewith  thou  lovest  me. 
Do  thou  with  virtue  renovate  thy  soul; 
Since  thou  desirest  so  to  come  at  me. 
Controlled  and  duly  ordered,  sane  and  whole, 
I  will  the  love  which  thou  shalt  offer  me. 

How  doth  one  prove  a  tree, 

If  not  by  what  it  yield? 

Worth  in  this  wise  is  sealed 

To  all  things,  by  a  proof. 

Everything  which  I  have  formed  and  made 
Is  made  with  number,  measure  and  array. 

Jacopone  da  Todi  229 

Unto  their  end  all  things  in  rank  are  laid; 
By  order  'tis  all  things  pass  not  away. 
Love,  more  than  all  the  rest,  is  held  and  staid 
In  order  by  its  nature,  in  a  way. 

But  if  the  fervent  ray 

Of  love  hath  made  thee  mad 

And  shapeless,  be  not  glad; 

Fervor  hath  ruined  love. 


0  Christ,  now  thou  hast  stolen  my  heart,  thou  say'st: 
"Set  thy  soul's  love  in  order,"  to  thy  worm. 

But  how,  transformed  in  thee,  so  deeply  graced, 

Can  I  be  lord  of  me,  or  rule  the  storm? 

As  iron  in  the  fire  grows  plastic  paste, 

As  air  transfixed  by  sun  grows  light  and  warm, 

And  lose  their  ancient  form, 

And  take  a  new  allure, 

So  be  my  soul,  grown  pure, 

Clad  on  with  thee  in  love. 

Why  hast  thou  brought  me  to  a  fiery  place, 

If  thou  wilt  have  me  to  be  temperate? 

When  without  measure  thou  didst  give  thy  grace, 

Thou  didst  confound  all  sense  of  size  and  weight. 

Small  thou  didst  fill  my  small  heart's  utmost  space: 

1  have  no  scope  to  hold  thee  being  great. 

If  I  be  desperate, 
The  fault  is  thine,  not  mine, 
O  thou  who  didst  define 
Conditions  of  our  love. 

Thou  canst  not  shield  thyself  from  love.  Love  brought 
Thee  captive  by  the  road  from  heaven  to  earth. 
Thou  didst  descend  to  lowness  to  be  naught, 
To  roam  a  man  rejected  from  thy  birth; 
No  house  nor  field  enhanced  thy  lowly  lot; 
Poor  thou  hast  given  riches  and  great  worth. 
In  life,  in  death,  no  dearth 

230  Italy 

Of  love  hast  thou  declared. 
Thy  heart  hath  flamed  and  flared 
With  nothing  else  but  love. 

Wisdom  remembered  not  to  stint  or  rein 
Thy  love,  when  passion  bade  the  whole  be  poured. 
Thou  wert  not  flesh,  but  love,  in  frame  and  brain; 
Love  made  thee  man  to  bear  our  sin's  reward. 
Thy  love  required  the  cross,  the  world's  disdain. 
Thou  didst  not  profit  thee  to  speak  a  word 

To  Pilate,  or  the  horde 

Of  those  who  wrought  thy  woe; 

Yearning  to  take  the  blow 

Upon  the  cross  of  love. 

Love,  love,  how  thou  hast  dealt  a  bitter  wound! 

I  cry  for  nothing  now  but  love  alone. 

Love,  love,  to  thee  I  am  securely  bound; 

I  can  embrace  none  other  than  my  own. 

Love,  love,  so  strongly  hast  thou  wrapt  me  round, 

My  heart  by  love  for  ever  overthrown, 

For  love  I  am  full  prone. 

Love,  but  to  be  with  thee! 

O  love,  in  mercv  be 

My  death,  my  death  of  love. 

Love,  love,  O  Jesus,  I  have  reached  the  port, 
Love,  love,  O  Jesus,  whither  thou  hast  led. 
Love,  love,  'tis  thou  hast  given  me  support. 
Love,  love,  for  ever  am  I  comforted. 
Love,  love,  thou  hast  inflamed  me  in  such  sort, 
The  goal  of  love  is  reached,  and  I  am  dead. 

To  love  for  ever  wed, 

Love  hath  cemented  both 

Our  hearts  in  perfect  troth 

Of  everlasting  love. 


Folgore  da  San  Gimignano  2,31 


Come,  January,  I  Give  You  These  Treats 
V  doto  voi,  net  mese  di  gennaio 

Come  January,  I  give  you  these  treats, 
a  courtyard  warmed  by  a  straw-burning  fire, 
and  rooms  and  beds  with  elegant  attire, 
with  coverlets  of  fur  and  silken  sheets, 

sugared  nuts,  sparkling  wine  and  sweets, 
imported  clothes  such  as  you  may  desire: 
in  this  way,  protection  you  would  acquire, 
if  either  the  north  or  the  south  wind  beats. 

To  go  outdoors  often  each  day  in  sport, 
to  throw  the  beautiful  and  clean  white  snow 
at  girls  who  stand  about  just  to  consort; 

and,  when  their  fatigue  began  to  show, 
the  group  would  return  to  this  court: 
where  rest  would  be  found  by  the  fire's  glow. 


In  March,  for  You  a  Gift  of  Fish  I  Boast 
Di  marzo  si  vi  do  una  feschiera 

In  March,  for  you  a  gift  of  fish  I  boast, 
with  sturgeon  and  salmon,  I  will  embark, 
and  eels  and  dolphins  and  trout  and  blue  shark, 
and  all  kinds  of  fish  found  near  every  coast; 

with  boats  in  a  fleet  manned  by  a  great  host, 
a  sloop,  a  schooner,  a  galleon,  a  bark, 
to  take  you  oversea  in  light  or  dark 
to  whatever  port  pleases  you  the  most; 

there  will  be  manors  with  servants  and  beasts, 
and  other  luxuries  furnished  for  you, 

232  Italy 

with  people  to  please  you  with  fairs  and  feasts. 

You'll  have  no  church  there  nor  altar  nor  pew, 
abandon  the  preaching  of  madmen  priests, 
who  have  many  lies  and  little  that's  true. 


For  April  I  Give  You  the  Countryside 
D'wpril  vi  dono  la  gentil  campagna 

For  April  I  give  you  the  countryside, 
its  new-born  grass  and  flowering  expanse; 
with  fountains  of  waters  that  stream  and  prance; 
and  women  and  girls  in  whom  to  confide; 

from  Spain  lively  horses  on  which  to  ride 
and  people  dressed  in  the  style  of  France, 
who  as  if  in  Provence,  will  sing  and  dance 
to  German  music  which  I  will  provide. 

And  there'll  be  gardens  east  and  west, 
in  which  everyone's  cares  will  soon  take  wing, 
and  their  adoration  each  will  bequest 

to  the  sweet  one  to  whom  I  gave  the  ring 
of  rare  jewels  for  her  head,  the  very  best 
that  have  Prester  John  or  Babylon's  king. 


In  October,  Figuring  up  Your  Share 
D'ottobre  net  contado  a  huono  stallo 

In  October,  figuring  up  your  share, 
good  dwellings,  good  prayers,  and  good  sons  are  due; 
have  a  good  time — there's  a  bird  to  pursue, 
go  after  it  now,  on  foot  or  on  mare. 

An  evening  of  dancing  must  be  your  fare, 

Cecco  Angiolieri  233 

and  getting  drunk  on  a  vigorous  brew, 
perhaps  some  red  wine  and  I  know  it  is  true 
that  this  way  of  life  is  superbly  rare. 

The  morning  after,  the  day  will  begin 
with  washing  your  hands  and  face  and  the  rest; 
the  roast  and  the  wine  are  choice  medicine. 

But  the  cure  that  will  make  you  healthiest 
is  from  lake,  stream,  or  sea — some  claw  and  fin; 
of  all  Christian  lives,  this  one  is  the  best! 



If  I  Were  Fire,  I'd  Burn  the  World  Away 
S'io  fossi  foco,  arderei  lo  mondo 

If  I  were  fire,  I'd  burn  the  world  away; 

If  I  were  wind,  I'd  knock  it  to  the  ground; 

If  I  were  water,  then  it  would  be  drowned. 

If  I  were  God,  I'd  make  it  Satan's  prey; 

If  I  were  pope — ah!  then  I  would  be  gay 

With  addling  every  Christian  that  I  found. 

If  I  were  emperor,  this  would  resound: 

''Off  with  the  head  of  each  who's  in  my  sway!" 

If  I  were  Death,  I'd  call  upon  my  Dad; 

If  I  were  Life,  I'd  flee  from  him  apace, 

And  toward  my  mother  I'd  be  just  as  bad. 

If  I  were  Cecco — just  as  is  the  case, 

I'd  snap  up  all  the  young  and  pretty  girls 

And  leave  the  sick  and  faded  to  the  churls. 


234  Italy 

Despair  Herself  Regards  Me  as  Her  Son 
La  stremita  mi  richer  fer  figliuolo 

Despair  herself  regards  me  as  her  son, 
And  I,  indeed,  must  hold  her  as  my  dame. 
Great  Pain  begot  me — thus  was  I  begun. 
Black  Melancholy  was  my  nurse's  name. 
My  swaddling  bands,  of  thorny  fibers  spun, 
From  tattered  sheets  of  coarsest  sackcloth  came. 
From  tip  to  toe  there's  much  in  me  to  shun, 
For  nothing  good  has  place  within  this  frame. 
Now,  in  my  youth,  to  better  my  poor  plight, 
I  am  bequeathed  a  wife  who  deems  it  fit 
To  prate  and  quarrel  long  into  the  night 
In  tones  such  as  unstrung  guitars  emit. 

The  widowed  man  alone  is  freed  of  blight. 

If  he  reweds,  his  wits  have  taken  flight. 



You  Have  in  You  the  Flowers  and  the  Green  Grass 
Avete  in  voi  li  fiori  e  la  verdura 

You  have  in  you  the  flowers  and  the  green  grass: 
And  what  is  shining  or  is  fair  to  see: 
Light  of  the  sun  your  own  light  doth  surpass: 
Who  has  not  seen  you,  worthless  wight  must  be! 

And  in  this  worid  of  ours,  no  creature  is 
So  full  of  pleasure  and  delightfulness: 
If  any  man  fear  love,  new  courage  his, 
Seeing  your  face,  so  much  himself  to  bless! 

The  ladies  all,  that  bear  you  company, 
For  your  dear  sake,  are  pleasing  to  my  sight, 
And  I  would  beg  them  of  their  courtesy, 

Guido  Cavalcanti  235 

To  do  you  honor,  each  to  strive  her  best, 
And  in  your  sovereignty  to  have  delight 
Since  of  them  all  you  are  the  loveliest. 

G.    S.    FRASER 

Who's  This  That  Comes,  as  Each  Man 

Looks  at  Her 
Chi  e  questa  che  vien,  ctiogni  uom  la  mira 

Who's  this  that  comes,  as  each  man  looks  at  her, 
Makes  tremulous  with  clarity  the  air, 
And  leads  Love  with  her,  so  that  speak  or  stir 
Can  none  among  us:  all  have  sighs  to  spare! 

Alas!  How  seems  she  when  her  eyes  she  turns? 
Let  Love  relate  what  I  may  not  explain : 
Yet  such  esteem  her  modest  bearing  earns, 
Another  in  her  place  shall  earn  disdain. 

Uncounted  are  the  gifts  that  make  her  rich: 
To  her  the  Gentle  Virtues  are  obeisant: 
Beauty,  as  Beauty's  Goddess,  doth  approve  her. 

Nor  was  our  mind  turned  to  so  high  a  pitch, 
Nor  of  its  health  so  properly  complaisant, 
That  we  could  have  a  proper  knowledge  of  her. 

G.    S.    FRASER 

Beauty  of  Woman  of  Noble  Heart 
Belta  di  donna  di  yiacente  core 

Beauty  of  woman  of  noble  heart, 
And  armed  knights  of  gentle  breeding, 
Birds  singing,  and  talk  of  love, 
Brave  ships  running  swiftly  on  the  sea, 

236  Italy 

Soft  breezes  at  the  break  of  day, 

And  white  snow  falling  in  the  still  air, 

Green  river  banks,  and  fields  of  flowers, 

Jewels  of  gold  and  silver,  and  azure  ornaments — 

These,  the  beauty  and  the  nobility  of  my  lady 
And  her  gentle  heart  so  far  surpass 
That  they  seem  base  to  the  beholdeT. 

So  far  she  exceeds  all  other  beauty 

As  the  heavens  exceed  the  earth : 

Happiness  comes  soon  with  one  of  such  nature. 


If  Mercy  Were  a  Friend  to  My  Desires 
Se  Merce  fosse  arnica  a   miei  desiri 

If  Mercy  were  a  friend  to  my  desires 

And  took  her  motion  from  the  very  heart 

Of  my  most  fair,  if  Mercy  could  impart 

That  balm  which  my  harsh  suffering  requires, 

Then  would  the  thrilling  agony  of  sighs — sired 

By  a  mind  that  dwells  on  Cupid's  art 

And  never  in  discoursing  will  depart 

From  that  great  theme,  though  none  be  thus  inspired 

To  pity  me — then  would  those  sighs  ascend 

With  so  much  might  and  force  that  fiery  tears 

Would  be  transmuted  into  burning  joys. 

Instead  they  wreak  the  havoc  that  destroys 

The  heart,  darkens  the  soul,  rousing  such  fears 

That  men  disdain  me,  for  my  looks  offend. 


Guido  Cavalcanti  237 

You've  Filled  My  Mind  So  Full  of  Grief 

Tu  m'hai  si  fiena  di  dolor  la  mente 

You've  filled  my  mind  so  full  of  grief, 
My  soul  now  shudders  to  depart. 
The  sighs  sent  out  by  my  unhappy  heart 
Testify  my  suffering  will  be  brief. 

Love,  sensing  your  high  nobility, 

Says:  "It  hurts  me  much  that  you  should  die 

For  this  cruel  girl,  who  won't  try 

To  hear  you  with  a  touch  of  sympathy." 

I  move  like  one  who  walks  outside  life's  line, 
Who  seems,  at  glance,  as  if  he  might  be  pressed 
From  copper,  or  from  wood,  or  stone, 

Moving  by  outside  governance  alone, 
Bearing  a  wound  deep  within  his  breast, 
That  is,  of  his  sure  death,  an  open  sign. 


O  Lady  Mine,  Caught  You  No  Glimpse  of  Him 
O  donna  mia,  non  vedestu  colui 

O  lady  mine,  caught  you  no  glimpse  of  him 
Who  held  his  hand  pressed  down  upon  my  heart 
when  I  made  answer  to  you,  choked  and  hoarse, 
shrinking  before  the  fierce  thrust  of  his  dart? 
That  hand  was  Love's,  who,  having  found  us  out, 
followed  me  close  even  when  I  came  away — 
a  Syrian  archer,  swift  of  pace  and  keen, 
intent  alone  on  killing  his  poor  prey. 

Out  of  your  eyes  thereafter  he  drew  sighs 

and  plunged  them  with  such  force  into  my  heart 

238  Italy 

that  I  fled  off  from  him  aghast  with  fear, 
only  to  come  straightway  upon  Lord  Death 
flanked  by  those  savage  bearers  of  his  arms 
who  take  men's  lives  and  do  not  heed  their  tears. 


We're  the  Pens,  Saddened  and  Dismayed 
Noi  siam  le  triste  fenne  ishigotite 

We're  the  pens,  saddened  and  dismayed, 
The  scissors  and  the  sorrowing  knife 
Who  cut  these  words  of  strife 
That  you've  just  now  surveyed. 

We'll  tell  you  why  we've  moved  apart 
And  come  to  you,  reader,  now  and  here. 
The  hand  that  formed  us  felt  great  fear: 
O,  fearsome  forms  beset  his  heart, 

Forms  that  had  him  so  unmanned 
They  almost  forced  him  to  his  end, 
For  he  had  nothing  left  but  sighs. 

Now  we  beg  you,  strongly  as  we  can: 
Please  consider  us  your  friends. 
Let  us  see  one  pair  of  gentle  eyes! 


A  Lady  Begs  Me 
Donna  mi  prega 

A  lady  begs  me,  so  I  must  now  speak 
of  that  accident,  fierce  so  many  a  time, 
and  so  sublime,  which  we  on  earth  call  love, 
and  I  shall  prove  the  truth  to  those  who  seek 

Guido  Cavalcanti  239 

it  not.  But  one  who  understands  I  must  now  find, 

since  one  whose  heart  is  evil — there's  no  doubt — 

to  such  a  subject  cannot  raise  his  mind; 

for,  unless  I  can  prove  what  I'm  about 

to  sing,  I  do  not  wish  at  all  to  tell 

where  it  does  dwell,  and  who  can  make  it  be, 

and  what  its  virtue  is,  its  power  as  well, 

its  essence  and  its  motions,  and  why  we 

call  love  the  thing  we  like,  and  whether  men 

can  show  it  so  that  soon  it  may  be  seen. 

Right  in  that  part  where  our  memory  dwells 

it  takes  life,  just  as  the  diaphanous 

takes  form  from  light.  By  some  strange  darkness'  spell, 

which  from  Mars,  its  abode,  comes  down  to  us, 

it  is  created:  though  its  name  is  sense, 

it's  the  soul's  habit  and  the  heart's  desire. 

It  starts  out  of  a  form,  perceived  by  chance 

yet  understood,  which  soon  comes  to  acquire 

both  place  and  home  in  the  Possible  Intellect, 

as  in  a  subject.  There  it  feels  no  ache 

since  from  plain  quality  you  don't  expect 

it  to  be:  in  itself  it  shines,  for  its  own  sake, 

a  perpetual  effect;  it  gives  no  pleasure, 

but  thought,  unable  to  grant  a  face's  features. 

It  is  no  virtue,  but  it  learns  its  way 

from  what  is  called  perfection — but  not  that 

of  reason,  that  of  sentiment,  I  say. 

In  its  own  health  its  judgment's  habitat 

is  not,  for  reason  and  intention,  oh, 

are  worth  one  thing;  its  discernment  is  false 

in  vicious  people.  Often  death  can  flow 

from  its  great  might,  if  the  virtue  that  succors 

its  opposite  path  is  strongly  hampered:  this 

is  not  because  it  is  opposed  to  nature, 

but  because,  as  we  know,  men's  fate  it  is 

to  be  so  snatched  away  from  perfect  pleasure 

as  to  be,  so  astray,  no  more  alive : 

when  they  forget,  to  this  same  death  they  arrive. 

240  Italy 

Its  being  is  when  such  is  the  desire 

as  to  go  far  beyond  all  nature's  measures : 

and  it  adorns  itself  with  leisure  never. 

Onward  it  moves,  changing  hues,  laughter,  tears, 

and  disfigures  its  face  with  fear's  displeasure; 

little  it  stays;  and  you  will  find  that  ever 

it  lives  with  those  whose  worth  is  the  most  high. 

The  new  quality  causes  many  a  sigh, 

and  makes  man  stare  into  the  empty  space, 

while  ire,  ablaze,  soon  rises  and  (you  must 

experience  it,  to  understand  its  rage) 

makes  him  not  shun  the  blows  that  are  being  thrust 

at  him,  nor  move  at  all  to  find  some  lull, 

for  his  mind  cannot  offer  help  at  all. 

From  likeness  does  the  glance  draw  life  and  marrow, 

which  makes  the  bliss  look  like  reality: 

when  it  is  struck,  it  cannot  be  concealed. 

Oh,  not  in  timid  beauty  hides  the  arrow, 

for  such  a  wish  is  chased  away  by  fright: 

a  wounded  spirit  does  achieve  its  boon. 

And  nothing  will  you  learn  just  from  the  face 

you  look  at:  such  a  whiteness  falls  on  it, 

that  (if  you  listen  well)  no  form  is  seen, 

unless  a  quick  result  proceeds  from  it. 

Faint  is  the  sheen  of  what  in  darkness  lies, 

far  from  the  brightness  of  its  life  divided. 

One  whom  I  trust  and  is  with  truth  adorned 

affirms:  from  this  alone  can  bliss  be  born. 

Fearing  no  harm,  my  song,  you  can  now  go 
wherever  you  wish :  with  such  glow  have  I 
adorned  you,  you'll  be  praised  by  those  who  know 
when  all  your  reasoning  shall  be  revealed: 
from  others  you  can  well  remain  concealed. 


Guido  Cavalcanti  241 

Fresh  Newborn  Rose 
Fresca  rosa  novella 

Fresh  newborn  rose,1 
My  beauteous  Spring, 
Through  field,  by  river, 
Gaily  singing 
Your  noble  worth  I  bring 

To  nature. 

Your  truly  noble  worth 

Renews  itself  with  joy 

In  aged  man  or  boy 

With  every  setting  forth. 

Birds  chant  to  it  their  vows, 

Each  in  his  Latin, 

From  evening  to  matin, 

On  greenish  boughs. 

The  whole  world's  now  with  song 

Since  it's  your  season 

And,  with  good  reason, 

Hymns  your  majesty: 

For  you're  the  most  heavenly 

Of  creatures. 
Heavenly  features 
In  you,  my  lady,  rest; 
O  God,  how  wondrous  blessed 
Seems  my  desire. 
Lady,  your  glad  expression, 
As  it  comes  and  passes, 
Nature  and  custom  surpasses 
In  wonderful  digression. 
Together  women  admire 
Your  truly  godlike  form, 
For  you  are  so  adorned 
Your  beauty's  not  transcribed: 

1  Secret  name  for  the  poet's  lady. 

242  Italy 

O,  can't  it  be  described — 

Beyond  nature? 

Beyond  our  human  nature 
God  formed  your  excellence 
To  show  by  its  very  essence 
That  you  were  born  to  rule. 
Now,  that  your  noble  face 
May  rest  forever  near, 
To  me  keep  ever  dear 
Your  most  abundant  grace. 
And,  if  I  seem  a  silly  fool 
To  set  you  as  my  queen : 
Know  that  I  don't  blaspheme, 
For  Love  makes  me  courageous 
Which  still  no  force  assuages — 

Nor  measure. 


There  in  a  Woodland,  to  My  Thought  More  Bright 
In  un  boschetto  trova  pasturella 

There  in  a  woodland,  to  my  thought  more  bright 
Than  a  star's  light,  I  found  a  shepherdess. 

Her  hair  she  had  golden  and  ringleted, 
And  her  eyes  full  of  love,  rosy  her  hue: 
With  a  small  switch  her  lambs  she  pastured, 
And  being  barefoot,  she  was  bathed  with  dew. 
Singing  she  was,  as  though  with  love  she  burned, 
And  was  adorned  with  all  delightfulness. 

With  love  I  did  salute  her  thereupon 
And  asked  if  she  had  any  company 
Whereto  she  answered  in  a  gentle  tone 
Alone,  alone  she  walked  the  woodland  way, 

Guido  Cavalcanti  243 

And  said:  "Know  thou,  that  when  the  birds  complain 
Then  I  am  fain,  a  lover  to  possess." 

No  sooner  had  she  told  me  her  condition 

And  through  the  wood  I  heard  the  birds  to  sing 

Than  in  myself  I  said:  "Now  is  the  season 

Out  of  this  shepherdess  my  joy  to  wring." 

Mercy  I  asked  her  that  to  kiss  with  lips 

And  love  with  clips,  she  should  have  willingness. 

And  then  my  hand  she  took  most  amorously 
And  said  her  heart  a  gift  to  me  she  made 
And  led  me  underneath  a  shadowy  tree 
Where  many  a  flower  I  saw  of  every  shade 
And  such  a  joy  and  sweetness  to  me  brought, 
I  saw,  methought,  the  god  of  tenderness. 

G.    S.    FRASER 

Since  I  No  Longer  Hope,  O  My  Sweet  Song 
Perch'i'  non  sfero  di  tornar  giammai 

Since  I  no  longer  hope,  O  sweet  song, 

To  see  my  Tuscan  land, 

Go,  calm  and  quiet,  and 

Seek  the  fair  lady  to  whom  you  belong 

And  who,  when  you  reach  her  gentle  face, 

Will  greet  you  with  her  grace. 

You  will  bring  news  of  sighs 

Replete  with  anguish  and  bewilderment; 

But  try  not  to  be  caught  by  impure  eyes 

Of  people  who  of  love  are  diffident, 

For  so  would  they  impede 

Your  loving  speed 

That  I  would  suffer  for  it,  and  this  ache 

Would  render  my  death  painful  and  would  make 

244  Italy 

Even  my  after-death 

A  thought  of  sorrow  and  immense  distress. 

You  know  well,  little  song,  how  death's  strong  grip 

Now  holds  me  and  how  life  is  failing  me, 

And  you  feel  how  my  heart  is  beating  fast 

Now  that  each  spirit  says  it  cannot  last. 

My  body's  so  worn  out 

That  my  own  suffering  I  cannot  feel 

Any  more :  if  you  will 

Help  me,  oh,  carry  my  spirit  along — 

This  is  my  last  request — 

That  it  may  leave  my  heart's  unrest. 

Oh,  little  song,  I  do 

Recommend  to  your  friendship 

This  soul  of  mine  that  trembles  in  dismay: 

Take  it  with  you  in  all  its  pain 

To  that  fair  lady  who  lives  far  away. 

When  you  are  before  her,  tell  her,  pray, 

With  a  sweet  sigh :  'This  humble  servant  comes 

To  be  with  you  forever, 

And  he  has  sent  her  here  who  never 

Ceased  to  be  servant  of  love." 

You,  my  bewildered  voice — oh  no,  a  moan 

Leaving  my  doleful  heart  as  a  last  tear — , 

Go  with  my  soul  and  with  this  song  of  mine, 

And  say  that  my  mind  has  been  destroyed  by  fear. 

You  will  soon  find  a  lady  sweet  and  fair, 

And  so  considerate, 

That  it  will  be  your  joy  and  happiness 

Ever  to  be  before  her. 

Oh,  quick,  my  soul,  adore  her 

For  all  her  worthiness. 


Dante  245 


To  Guido  Cavalcanti 
A  Guido  Cavalcanti 

Guido,  I  should  wish  that  you,  Lapo  and  I, 
Caught  in  the  net  of  the  enchanters  spell, 
Were  set  into  a  bark  whose  sails  should  swell 
With  every  vagrant  wind  that  happened  by, 

So  that  no  turn  of  chance  or  change  of  sky 
Should  mar  our  ease  or  hinder  our  delight. 
No,  rather  as  we  shared  one  hope  we  might 
Share  the  desire  to  sail  on  endlessly. 

And  Monna  Vanna  and  Monna  Lagia  too, 
And  she  who's  named  among  the  thirty  fair 
Should  join  our  crew  through  Merlin's  sorceries 

And  join  our  talk  of  Love  as  Love  might  please; 
And  there  with  us,  removed  from  every  care, 
Rejoice  with  us  as  we  would  wish  them  to. 


Beyond  the  Sphere  Which  Turns  Most  Distant 
Oltre  la  Sfera,  eke  fiu  larga  gira 

Beyond  the  sphere  which  turns  most  distant 
Passes  the  sigh  which  issues  from  my  heart: 
A  strange  intelligence  which  Love, 
Weeping,  gives  it,  draws  it  ever  upward. 

When  it  has  come  where  it  desires  to  be, 
It  sees  there  a  lady  who  receives  such  honor 

246  Italy 

And  such  light  that  by  her  own  splendor 
This  pilgrim  spirit  sees  her. 

It  sees  her  such  that  when  it  returns  to  tell  me  of  her 
I  do  not  comprehend,  so  subtly  does  it  speak 
To  the  sorrowing  heart  that  questions  it. 

All  I  know  is  that  it  speaks  of  that  gentle  one, 

Because  I  hear  it  say  Beatrice  often, 

And  that  I  understand  quite  well,  dear  ladies. 


Nothing  Will  Ever  Seem  to  Me  More  Cruel 

Nulla  mi  farve  mai  pin  crudel  cosa 

Nothing  will  ever  seem  to  me  more  cruel 
Than  she  I  serve,  and  serving  waste  my  life, 
For  my  desire  is  caught  in  flames  of  love 
And  hers  is  bound  within  a  frozen  lake. 

So  pitiless  and  cold  is  she,  whose  beauty 
I  gaze  upon  and  thereby  cheat  myself, 
So  deeply  do  I  yearn  for  my  own  torment 
No  other  pleasure  dares  to  tempt  my  eyes. 

She  who  turns  her  face  upon  the  sun, 

And  keeps  her  love  unchanged  through  her  own  changing, 

Had  not  so  bitter  a  lot  as  I  have  drawn. 

Then,  Giannin,  since  that  proud  one  binds 
My  heart  to  love  until  I  breathe  my  last, 
Out  of  compassion  sigh  a  little  with  me. 


Dante  247 

To  a  Short  Day  and  a  Great  Ring  of  Shadow 
Al  foco  giorno,  ed  al  gran  cerchio  d'  ombra 

To  a  short  day  and  a  great  ring  of  shadow 

have  I  come  alas!  and  a  whitening  of  hills, 

as  they  lose  color  with  the  clouded  grass. 

And  still  my  passion  does  not  change  its  green, 

so  fast  it  is  in  the  hard  soul  of  stone 

that  looks  and  speaks  and  heeds  me  like  a  woman. 

And  in  the  same  way  this  springtime  woman 
stands  frozen  like  the  snow  in  shadow; 
because  she  is  not  moved,  no  more  than  stone 
is,  when  the  sweet  weather  warms  the  hills 
and  turns  them  back  again  from  white  to  green 
to  cover  them  with  little  flowers  and  grass. 

When  she  wears  her  hair  in  a  garland  of  grass, 
our  minds  are  charmed  away  from  every  woman 
save  her  who  mingles  curled  yellow  and  green 
so  neat  that  Love  comes  there  to  stand  in  shadow, 
Love  who  fixes  me  between  small  hills 
more  firmly  than  mortar  fixing  stone. 

Her  beauty  dearer  than  a  precious  stone 
works  a  wound  not  cured  by  healing  grass, 
and  I  have  fled  through  plains  and  past  the  hills 
with  hope  to  save  myself  from  such  a  woman; 
yet  her  dazzle  gives  no  rest  in  shadow 
cast  by  wall  or  knoll  or  leafy  green. 

I  have  sometimes  seen  her  dressed  in  green 

so  made  she  might  have  then  provoked  in  stone 

the  love  I  suffer  even  for  her  shadow : 

therefore  in  the  fairest  meadow  grass 

I  craved  to  see  her  lovesick  as  ever  woman 

was — and  bounded  by  the  highest  hills. 

248  Italy 

But  rivers  will  return  to  run  uphill 
sooner  than,  for  me,  this  damp  green 
wood  take  fire,  as  should  a  pretty  woman; 
so  could  I  bring  myself  to  sleep  on  stone 
a  lifetime  and  roam  and  feed  on  grass 
only  to  watch  her  garments  set  a  shadow. 

And  when  the  hills  throw  their  darkest  shadow, 
under  such  green  beauty  this  young  woman 
melts  it,  vanished  like  a  stone  in  grass. 

sonia  raiziss  and  Alfredo  de  palchi 

I  Seek  to  Make  My  Speech  a  Yawp  as  Bitter 
Cost  net  mio  farlar 

I  seek  to  make  my  speech  a  yawp  as  bitter 

As  is  her  every  act,  the  stone  I  prize, 

Who  now  and  always  petrifies 

Anew  her  nature,  her  obduracy; 

And  clothes  her  in  an  adamantine  glitter 

That  turns  the  arrow  aside  (or  else  she  shies), 

No  matter  from  what  bow  it  flies 

Or  quiver  comes  to  pierce  her  nudity. 

The  other  dies,  although  he  tries  to  flee 

Or  shuts  him  in  against  the  deathly  blow 

That  goes  as  sure  as  wings  can  go 

To  where  he  is  and  shatters  his  defense. 

Lost  to  myself,  I  make  of  her  no  sense. 

There  is  no  shield  I  find  she  does  not  shatter, 

Nor  place  which  grants  asylum  from  her  frown; 

For,  as  the  leaf  can  grow  no  other  crown 

But  flowers,  she  blossoms  from  my  topmost  soul. 

My  anguish  seems  to  her  as  small  a  matter 

As  mild  waves'  lapping  to  the  galleon; 

And  yet  the  weight  that  weighs  me  down 

Is  one  that  no  rime's  counter-weight  can  equal. 

Dante  249 

Ah,  agonizing  lure,  as  deaf  as  cruel, 

Who  deafly  wear  my  life  away — say  how 

Can  you  not  learn  to  disavow 

This  gnawing,  rind  by  rind,  toward  my  heart's  core, 

As  I  the  baring  of  your  source  of  power! 

Thinking  of  her  my  heart  begins  to  shudder, 

Especially  beneath  the  stranger's  gaze, 

For  fear  my  shining  thought  betrays 

Itself  to  others,  shining  out  of  me; 

Nor  death  at  my  nerves'  ends  compels  more  utter 

Terror,  though  with  teeth  of  Love  it  graze; 

Because  that  thought  puts  out  of  phase 

The  force  that  makes  act  out  of  energy. 

Struck  to  the  earth,  I  see  still  straddling  me, 

The  sword  in  hand  whose  thrust  made  Dido  die, 

Love,  for  whose  grace  I  cry, 

Cry,  "Mercy!  Mercy!"  pray  him,  bowing  low, 

Though  merciless,  he  knows  no  word  but  no. 

He  lifts  his  hand  from  time  to  time  and  taunts 

My  ebbing  life;  for  he  is  most  perverse, 

Who  holds  me  racked  upon  the  earth, 

Back  pinned,  too  tired  even  to  buck  or  flail. 

Cries  rise  within  my  mind,  and  blood  that  shunts 

From  vein  to  further  vein  and  is  dispersed, 

Now  fugitive,  its  course  reversed, 

Must  hunt  the  heart  that  calls  it,  leave  me  pale. 

Under  the  left  arm,  he  aims  a  thrust  so  fell 

It  raises  anguish  in  my  heart  again. 

"Let  him  lift,"  I  cry  out  then, 

'That  hand  once  more,  and  I  within  death's  dark 

Shall  dwell  before  the  blow  complete  its  arc." 

Would  I  could  see  Love  split  that  bitch's  heart 

In  half,  who  hacked  my  own  till  scarce  a  fourth 

Survives.  Death  would  not  find  me  loathe, 

Toward  which  for  her  fair  sake  I  urge  myself. 

In  sunlight  as  in  shade  she  can  impart 

One  solace  only,  thief  and  killer  both. 

Oh  Christ,  if  she  in  hell's  hot  broth 

250  Italy 

For  me,  as  I  for  her,  would  dog-like  yelp, 

How  soon  I'd  cry  to  her,  'Til  help!  I'll  help!" 

And  gladly  help,  like  those  who  in  the  yellow  hair 

Of  girls,  entwine  (so  I  with  her) 

Their  hands.  Ah,  when  I  hold  what  love  embossed 

For  my  defeat  in  gold,  perhaps  she'll  love  me  at  last. 

Once  grasped,  I  would  not  loose  those  lovely  tresses, 

That  serve  me  only  as  a  scourge,  a  flail; 

But  seizing  them  at  Matins  bell 

Hang  on  till  Vespers  and  till  Midnight  ring. 

Without  courtesy  or  pity,  my  caresses 

Would  take  the  playful  bear  as  their  ideal; 

And  just  as  Love  now  makes  me  reel 

Beneath  their  stripes,  a  thousand  times  I'd  wring 

From  her  exaction.  In  those  eyes  which  fling 

Live  fire  toward  my  heart  that  she's  left  dead, 

I'd  stare — head  fixed  to  neighboring  head, 

Till  vengeance  cancel  out  rejection's  pain; 

And  only  then  in  love  permit  her  peace  again. 

Go  song,  go  straight,  seek  out  my  lady, 
Wlio  wounds  my  heart  and  steals  from  me 
The  sole  hope  of  satiety. 
Go,  thrust  an  arrow  through  her  heart, 
For  vengeance  is  a  seemly  art. 



Tenzone  Sequence 


Chi  udisse  tossir  la  vialfatata 

Whoever's  heard  the  run-down  wife 
Of  Bicci — called  Forese — cough 

Dante  and  Forese  Donati  2,51 

Might  think  she  spends  her  winter-life 
Up  north,  where  the  icicles  drop. 

Even  in  the  middle  of  August,  she  sneezes. 
(Think  how  she  suffers  the  rest  of  the  year!) 
She  wears  her  shoes  to  bed — but  freezes. 
Covers  that  cover  cost  too  dear. 

The  cough,  the  cold  and  such  distress 
Don't  come  because  the  poor  dear's  overripe. 
She's  cold  because  Bicci's  fled  her  nest. 

Her  mother's  weeping  for  griefs  that  mount: 

"To  think!  For  just  a  dowry  of  tripe 

I  could've  married  her  to  a  Guido  count!" 


L'altra  notte  mi  venne  una  gran  tosse 

The  other  night  I  had  a  coughing  fit 
Because  there  wasn't  a  cover  for  my  back. 
Soon  as  day  dawned,  out  I  tracked 
For  any  gold  I  could  walk  off  with. 

Listen  how  fortune  gave  me  riches: 
Here  I  was  looking  for  a  pearl-filled  box 
Or  pretty  florins  with  gold-minted  gloss — 
But  found  Alighieri  by  the  graveyard  ditches, 

Tied  in  a  knot  whose  name  I  didn't  know 
(Maybe  it's  Solomon  or  some  other  prophet.) 
I  crossed  myself,  facing  the  eastern  glow, 

As  he  said:  "For  the  love  of  Dante,  undo 

These  knots."  I  tried — but  to  no  profit. 

Then  I  turned  back  and  saw  my  journey  through. 

252  Italy 


Ben  ti  faranno  il  nodo  Salamone 

Solomon's  knot  will  soon  be  wrapping  you  in, 
Bicci  junior,  with  those  necks  of  quail. 
Those  expensive  cuts  of  mutton  will  make  you  wail 
Your  sins  recorded  on  the  dead  sheep-skin. 

Your  house'll  be  even  closer  to  Saint  Simon  Jail 
Unless,  of  course,  you  make  a  getaway. 
But  now,  I'm  afraid,  it's  too  late  to  repay 
Those  debts — unless  your  appetite  should  fail. 

They  tell  me,  though,  you've  got  a  clever  hand, 

And  if  it's  true,  you'll  be  just  like  new, 

Because  you  can  pick  up  several  thousand  grand. 

Maybe  this  art  will  ease  gluttony's  grief. 
You'll  pay  your  debts  and  stay  in  Florence  too. 
But  is  it  better  than  being  a  glutton — to  be  a  thief? 


Bicci  novel,  figliuol  di  non  so  cui 

Bicci  junior,  son  of  I-know-not-who 
(Unless  I  asked  your  mother,  Lady  Tess), 
So  much  stuff  goes  in  and  out  of  you 
That,  naturally,  you  must  turn  to  thievishness. 

Already  everybody's  on  his  guard 
Who  has  a  wallet,  when  you're  nearby, 
Saying:  "Look  at  that  man,  how  scarred! 
A  common  crook!  He  acts  so  sly!" 

In  bed  your  daddy  keeps  an  all-night  tryst 
With  his  conscience,  praying  you're  not  caught. 
Your  dad?  Yes.  Like  Joseph  was  to  Christ. 

Cino  da  Pistoia  253 

Of  Bicci  and  Brothers,  I'd  write  many  pieces: 
How  with  tainted  gold  they  pursue  their  lot, 
But  treat  their  wives  politely — like  nieces. 



Ah  Me,  Alas!  Am  I  So  Very  Base 

Oime  lasso!  or  sonvi  tanto  a  noia 

Ah  me,  alas!  Am  I  so  very  base 

That  you  disdain  me  as  your  wretched  foe 

Because  I  love  and  strive  against  my  woe, 

Unable  to  unlove  so  fair  a  face? 

I'll  kill  myself  if  you'll  but  think  it  grace; 

For  that  faint  hope  that  keeps  my  life  aglow 

Darkens  to  such  despair  words  cannot  say : 

When  pity  stirs  unpity  that's  the  case. 

All  that  from  which  before  I  nourished  peace — 

Sweet  love  by  which  I  found  me  comforted — 

Now  turns  to  strife  from  which  there's  no  surcease. 

Thus  it  is  fit  that,  since  you  wish  me  dead, 

I  kill  myself  and  thus  obtain  release; 

Thus  wrong  prevails  where  right  should  win  instead. 


Love  Is  a  Subtle  Spirit  That  Can  Slay 
Amore  e  uno  Sfirito  ctiancide 

Love  is  a  subtle  spirit  that  can  slay: 
Begotten  by  delight,  born  at  a  glance, 
It  pierces  with  the  fury  of  a  lance; 
And  those  poor  faculties  that  bar  its  way 
Stand  unavailing  to  prevent  such  prey, 
While  Mercy's  mute  to  halt  its  dire  advance. 
Such  were  the  words  my  mind  in  its  mischance 

254  Italy 

And  my  bewildered  soul  had  cause  to  say 
When  my  unweary  eyes,  too  bold  for  fears, 
Chanced  on  the  fairest  wight  I  ever  met, 
By  whom  my  heart,  as  now  too  well  appears, 
Was  shattered  quite.  Better  that  Death  had  set 
On  me  instead,  for  unremitting  tears 
Were  all  my  love  begot  or  will  beget. 


Ah,  Woe  to  Me  Alas,  for  Love  Has  Bound 
Omel  ch'io  sono  all' amoroso  nodo 

Ah,  woe  to  me,  alas,  for  Love  has  bound 
Me  straight  with  two  bright  tresses,  silken  blond, 
And,  like  the  poor  belimed  bird,  I've  found 
That  every  struggle  but  secures  the  bond, 
Whereat  I'm  lost,  unless  I  hear  the  sound 
Of  her  sweet  voice  whence  Pity  may  respond; 
For  still  I  strive  and  thus  I  still  confound 
Desired  escape,  and  thus  I  more  despond. 
And,  more  bewildering  still,  I  see  increase 
Of  radiance  in  those  precious  knots  of  gold, 
Those  glowing  tresses  that  will  not  release 
The  fearful  fluttering  heart  that  they  enfold. 
Ah,  Pity,  help  me;  you  alone  may  ease 
Where  Love  with  but  one  charm  has  taken  hold. 



To  Cino  da  Pistoia 
A  Cino  da  Pistoia 

Mind  and  humble  and  more  than  a  thousand 
Basketfuls  of  spirits  and  your  air  of  walking 

in  your  sleep 

Petrarch  255 

Make  me  think  there  is  no  way 

To  make  sense  of  you  in  your  rhyming  mood. 

I  know  not  what  makes  you  do  it, 
Whether  it  is  love  or  death,  but  with  your 

philosophic  airs 
You  have  wearied  even  the  strongest 
Of  those  who  hear  your  beautiful,  conceited  song. 

Moreover  we  all  find  quite  burdensome 
Your  colloquies  of  three  with  another  person, 
And  your  four-voiced  discussions  with  yourself: 

Truly,  all  human  burdens  seem  sweet 
In  comparison  with  what  you  cause 
A  man  to  endure  who  reads  you. 



If  Life  Survives  These  Years  of  Bitter  Woe 
Se  la  mia  vita  da  Vasyro  tormento 

If  life  survives  these  years  of  bitter  woe 
Which  I  have  suffered  through  your  loveliness, 
One  day,  toward  the  end  of  my  distress, 
I  shall  perceive  your  eyes  have  lost  their  glow, 
Your  golden  hair  is  gray  upon  your  brow, 
Your  garlands  faded,  and  your  verdant  dress, 
And  all  these  beauties  vanished  which  oppress 
My  fainting  spirit,  hesitant  and  slow. 

Perhaps  then  I  will  find  at  last  the  strength 
To  tell  you  of  the  torments  I  endure, 
And  how  it  was  with  me  this  day  and  year. 
And  if,  by  chance,  desire  has  fled  at  length, 

256  Italy 

At  least  my  agony  will  then  secure 
The  comfort  of  a  sympathetic  tear. 


It  Is  the  Evening  Hour;  the  Rapid  Sky 
Ne  la  stagion  che  'I  del  rapido  inchina 

It  is  the  evening  hour;  the  rapid  sky 

Bends  westward;  and  the  hasty  daylight  flees 

To  some  new  land,  some  strange  expectant  race. 

An  old  and  weary  pilgrim-woman  sees 

The  lonely  foreign  desert-dark  drawn  nigh. 

Fearful,  she  urges  on  her  stumbling  pace. 

And  to  her  resting-place 

At  length  she  comes,  and  knows 

The  sweetness  of  repose; 

The  pains  of  pilgrimage,  the  road's  duress 

Fade  in  enveloping  forgetfulness. 

But  oh,  alas,  my  hurts  that  ache  by  day 

Are  but  more  pitiless 

When  the  light  sinks  into  the  west  away. 

When  the  sun's  burning  wheels  have  sped  along, 

And  night  pursues,  rolling  its  deepest  black 

From  highest  peaks  into  the  sheltered  plain, 

The  sober  woodsman  slings  upon  his  back 

His  tools,  and  sings  his  artless  mountain-song, 

Discharging  on  the  air  his  load  of  pain. 

And  yet  his  only  gain 

Is,  on  his  humble  board, 

The  food  the  woods  afford, 

Acorns,  which  poets  honor,  yet  abjure. 

Let  him  be  happy,  let  him  sleep  secure, 

Though  I  no  happiness  have  ever  won, 

No  rest,  no  ease,  no  cure, 

For  all  the  turning  of  the  stars  and  sun. 

Petrarch  257 

And  when  the  shepherd  sees  the  evening  shade 

Rising  and  graying  o'er  the  eastward  land, 

And  the  sun  dropping  to  its  nightly  nest, 

He  rises;  takes  his  well-worn  crook  in  hand; 

And  leaves  the  grass,  the  spring,  the  beechen  glade, 

And  quietly  leads  the  tired  flock  to  its  rest. 

He  finds  a  cave,  recessed 

In  crags,  wherein  to  spread 

Green  branches  for  his  bed, 

And  there  he  sleeps,  untroubled,  solitary. 

But  then,  O  cruel  Love,  the  more  you  harry 

My  breaking  strength  to  that  most  hopeless  chase 

Of  her  who  flees  apace, 

And  Love  will  never  aid  to  noose  the  quarry. 

In  the  sea's  vales  the  sailors  on  their  bark 

Throw  down  their  limbs  on  the  hard  boards  to  sleep 

When  the  sun  dips  beneath  the  western  main. 

Oh,  though  he  hide  within  the  farthest  deep, 

And  leave  Morocco's  mountains  to  the  dark, 

Granada  and  the  Pillars  and  all  Spain, 

And  though  the  worldwide  pain 

Of  suffering  man  and  beast 

In  the  first  night  have  ceased, 

There  comes  no  night  with  mercy  to  conclude 

My  ardor,  ever  in  suffering  renewed. 

My  love  grows  old;  soon  shall  my  captor  see  me 

Ten  years  in  servitude. 

And  still  no  savior  comes  with  strength  to  free  me! 

And  as  I  seek  with  words  my  wounds  to  numb, 

I  watch  at  eve  the  unyoked  oxen  turning 

In  from  the  fields,  down  from  the  furrowed  hill. 

My  yoke,  alas,  is  never  lifted  from 

My  shoulders,  and  my  hurts  are  ever  burning, 

And  in  my  eyes  the  tears  are  springing  still. 

Alas,  it  was  my  will 

To  carve  the  unearthly  grace 

Of  her  most  lovely  face 

258  Italy 

In  the  immutable  matter  of  my  heart. 

Now  it  is  carved  so  deep  that  strength  nor  art 

May  rub  it  thence  until  that  final  day 

When  soul  and  the  body  part. 

Even  then,  perhaps,  it  will  not  pass  away. 

O  my  unhappy  song, 

My  grief  has  made  you  grieve, 

You  will  not  dare  to  leave 

My  heart,  to  show  your  sorrows  anywhere; 

And  yet,  for  others'  praise  you  shall  not  care, 

For  all  your  burden  is  the  weight  of  pain 

Left  by  the  flames  that  flare 

From  the  cold  rock  to  which  I  cling,  in  vain. 


Father  in  Heaven,  after  Each  Lost  Day 
Padre  del  ciel,  dofo  i  ferduti  giorni 

Father  in  heaven,  after  each  lost  day, 
Each  night  spent  raving  with  that  fierce  desire 
Which  in  my  heart  has  kindled  into  fire 
Seeing  your  acts  adorned  for  my  dismay; 

Grant  henceforth  that  I  turn,  within  your  light 
To  another  life  and  deeds  more  truly  fair, 
So  having  spread  to  no  avail  the  snare 
My  bitter  foe  might  hold  it  in  despite. 

The  eleventh  year,  my  Lord,  has  now  come  round 
Since  I  was  yoked  beneath  the  heavy  trace 
That  on  the  meekest  weighs  most  cruelly. 

Pity  the  abject  plight  where  I  am  found; 
Return  my  straying  thoughts  to  a  nobler  place; 
Show  them  this  day  you  were  on  Calvary. 


Petrarch  259 

She  Used  to  Let  Her  Golden  Hair  Fly  Free 

Erano  i  capei  d'oro  a  Vaura  spar  si 

She  used  to  let  her  golden  hair  fly  free 
For  the  wind  to  toy  and  tangle  and  molest; 
Her  eyes  were  brighter  than  the  radiant  west. 
(Seldom  they  shine  so  now.)  I  used  to  see 

Pity  look  out  of  those  deep  eyes  on  me. 
("It  was  false  pity,"  you  would  now  protest.) 
I  had  love's  tinder  heaped  within  my  breast; 
What  wonder  that  the  flame  burned  furiously? 

She  did  not  walk  in  any  mortal  way, 

But  with  angelic  progress;  when  she  spoke, 

Unearthly  voices  sang  in  unison. 

She  seemed  divine  among  the  dreary  folk 

Of  earth.  You  say  she  is  not  so  today? 

Well,  though  the  bow's  unbent,  the  wound  bleeds  on. 


Pale  Beauty!  and  a  Smile  the  Pallor  There 
Quel  vago  impallidir  eke  'I  dolce  riso 

Pale  beauty!  and  a  smile  the  pallor  there 
Hung  over  tenderly,  a  veil  of  love 
Which  sent  such  awe  into  my  heart  that  above 
In  my  face  it  moved  and  shone  out  everywhere. 

I  knew  then  how  the  saints  in  heaven's  air 
Gaze  on  each  other;  what  she  was  thinking  of, 
In  pity,  to  my  eyes  held  shape  enough, 
To  others  unseen;  I  cannot  look  elsewhere. 

2,6o  Italy 

The  most  angelic  glimpse,  the  humblest  deed 

Of  any  woman  deep  in  love,  to  this 

Would  be  a  theme  of  scorn,  it's  praise  unjust. 

She  bent  her  kind  sweet  glance,  but  I  could  read 
What  fell,  these  silent  words  I  could  not  miss: 
Who  is  it  steals  from  me  the  friend  I  trust? 


From  Thought  to  Thought,  from  Mountain  Peak 

to  Mountain 
Di  fensier  in  fensier,  di  monte  in  monte 

From  thought  to  thought,  from  mountain  peak  to  mountain, 

Love  leads  me  on;  for  I  can  never  still 

My  trouble  on  the  world's  well-beaten  ways. 

If  on  a  barren  heath  there  springs  a  fountain, 

Or  a  dark  valley  huddles  under  a  hill, 

There  may  the  grieving  soul  find  quiet  days; 

There  freely  she  obeys 

Love's  orders,  laughing,  weeping,  hoping,  fearing, 

And  the  face  writes  a  gloss  upon  the  soul, 

Now  glad,  now  charged  with  dole, 

Not  long  in  any  manner  persevering. 

At  sight  of  me  a  man  of  subtle  wit 

Would  say,  "He  burns,  and  sees  no  end  of  it." 

In  the  high  mountains,  in  the  woods  I  find 

A  little  solace;  every  haunt  of  man 

Is  to  my  mood  a  mortal  enemy. 

At  every  step  a  new  thought  comes  to  mind 

Of  my  dear  lady,  whose  remembrance  can 

Turn  all  the  hurt  of  love  to  gayety. 

I  would  no  sooner  be 

Quit  of  this  bittersweet  existence  here, 

Than  J  reflect,  "Yet  even  now  Love  may 

Petrarch  261 

Destine  the  better  day; 

I,  loathing  self,  may  be  to  others  dear!" 

So  I  go  thinking,  hoping,  sighing,  now; 

May  it  be  true  indeed?  And  when?  And  how? 

And  in  the  shade  of  a  pine  tree  or  a  hill 

I  halt,  and  all  the  tumbled  rocks  near  by 

Are  pictured  with  the  beauty  of  her  face; 

And  tears  of  tender  melancholy  fill 

My  bosom;  and  "Alas!  alas!"  I  cry, 

"What  have  I  come  to!  From  how  far  a  place!" 

But,  for  the  little  space 

That  the  uneasy  mind  thus  looks  on  her, 

Rapt  out  of  self  into  another  sphere, 

Then  I  feel  Love  so  near 

That  the  tricked  soul  rejoices  it  should  err. 

So  clear  I  see  her,  and  so  fair  and  pure 

That  I  pray  only  that  the  fraud  endure. 

Often  I've  seen  her — who'll  believe  me  now? — 

Treading  the  grass,  cleaving  the  lucid  water, 

Alive,  alive,  in  a  forest  beech-trunk  caught, 

White  mid  the  clouds;  so  fair,  Leda  would  vow 

The  famous  beauty  of  her  lovely  daughter 

Is  dimmed  as  a  star  when  the  broad  sun  beams  hot. 

And,  in  what  savage  spot 

I  chance  to  be,  in  what  most  barren  shore, 

Ever  more  beautiful  she  walks  with  me. 

Then,  when  Truth  makes  to  flee 

My  darling  cheat,  I  find  myself  once  more 

A  dead  stone  statue,  set  on  living  stone, 

Of  one  who  thinks  and  grieves  and  writes  alone. 

Now  it's  my  whole  desire  and  all  my  pleasure 

Up  to  the  highest  mountain-pass  to  climb 

To  dizzy  and  unshadowed  solitude. 

And  thence  I  send  my  flying  gaze  to  measure 

My  length  of  woe;  I  weep  a  little  time; 

The  mist  of  grief  blows  from  my  dismal  mood. 

I  stare  afar  and  brood 

262  Italy 

On  the  leagues  that  lie  between  me  and  that  face, 

Ever  so  near  and  yet  so  far  away. 

Soft  to  myself  I  say, 

"My  soul,  be  brave;  perhaps,  in  that  far  place, 

She  thinks  of  you  in  absence,  and  she  sighs!" 

And  my  soul  suddenly  wakes  and  gladly  cries. 

My  song,  beyond  these  alps, 

In  the  land  where  skies  are  gladder  and  more  clear, 

You'll  see  me  soon,  where  a  quick  streamlet  flows, 

And  where  the  fragrance  blows 

Of  the  fresh  Laurel  that  I  love  so  dear. 

There  is  my  heart,  and  she  who  reft  it  me; 

Here  you  may  see  only  my  effigy. 


I  Find  No  Peace,  yet  Am  Not  Armed  for  War 
Pace  non  trovo,  e  non  o  da  far  guerra 

I  find  no  peace,  yet  am  not  armed  for  war, 
In  hope  I  fear,  in  ice  I  burn  and  gasp; 
I  lie  on  earth,  and  in  the  sky  I  soar, 
Embrace  the  universe,  and  nothing  clasp. 

She  holds  me  trapped  with  neither  lock  nor  noose, 
Nor  keeps  me  for  her  own,  nor  breaks  the  chain; 
And  Love  itself  will  neither  slay  nor  loose, 
Nor  let  me  live,  nor  free  me  from  my  pain. 

I  have  no  eyes,  yet  see;  no  tongue,  yet  cry, 
I  long  to  perish,  yet  I  voice  my  fears; 
Myself  I  hate,  and  for  another  sigh, 
I  joy  in  sorrow,  and  I  smile  in  tears: 
For  death  and  life  alike  I  am  unfit, 
And  you,  my  lady,  are  the  cause  of  it. 


°etrarch  263 

Now  Skies  and  Earth  Are  Stilled  and  Winds 

Are  Dead 
Or  che  'I  del  e  la  terra  e  'I  vento  tace 

Now  skies  and  earth  are  stilled  and  winds  are  dead, 
The  beasts  and  restless  birds  are  tethered  in  sleep, 
Night's  starry  car  moves  on  in  darkness  deep, 
Unstirring  seas  lie  quiet  in  their  bed; 
I  wake,  brood,  kindle,  weep.  She  whose  caprice 
Commands  me  gives  this  sweet  pain  no  relief; 
My  state  is  open  war,  dire  anger,  grief, 
Yet  thoughts  of  her  are  all  I  know  of  peace. 

Constant  from  one  pure,  living  source  outpour 

The  sweet,  the  bitter,  to  fulfill  my  need; 

One  hand  still  heals  my  wound  and  makes  it  bleed; 

I  die,  am  born,  a  thousand  times  each  day 

Lest  ceaseless  struggle  cast  me  safe  ashore, 

Being  ever  from  salvation  far  away. 


Absorbed  in  One  Fond  Thought  That  Makes 

Me  Run 
Pien  d'un  vago  fenser  eke  me  desvia 

Absorbed  in  one  fond  thought  that  makes  me  run 
A  solitary  course,  companionless, 
Sometimes,  rapt  deep  in  reveries,  I  confess, 
I  seek  out  her  whose  pathways  I  should  shun: 
I  see  her  pass,  so  sweet,  so  cruelly 
Lovely  my  soul  trembles  and  turns  in  flight, 
Such  troops  of  sworded  sighs  throng  there,  unite 
Behind  my  own  and  Love's  dear  enemy. 

Yet  surely,  unless  I  err,  a  pitying  gleam 
Illumines  now  that  clouded,  lofty  brow; 

264  Italy 

This  partly  summons  hope,  gives  me  new  heart; 
I  call  my  soul  to  stand  its  ground;  I  seem 
About  to  stammer  some  audacious  vow — 
But  have  so  much  to  tell  I  dare  not  start. 


The  Woods  Are  Wild  and  Were  Not  Made  for  Man 
Per  mezz   i  boschi  inosfiti  e  selvaggi 

The  woods  are  wild  and  were  not  made  for  man. 
Now  men  and  weapons  fill  them  with  their  fear. 
I  walk  there  free,  the  only  terror  near 
Being  my  Sun  and  the  bright  rays  I  scan — 

Her  piercing  Love!  And  I  walk  singing  (but  can 
Such  thoughts  be  wise?)  of  her  who  in  absence  is  here, 
Here  in  my  eyes  and  heart  to  make  me  swear 
I  saw  girls,  ladies,  where  beech  and  fir  trees  ran! 

I  seem  to  hear  her,  when  I  hear  the  air, 

The  leaves,  the  branches,  and  the  plaint  of  birds, 

Or  waters  murmuring  on  through  the  green  grass. 

Never  so  happy,  never  in  silence  so  rare, 

Alone  in  a  grim  forest,  without  light,  without  words — 

But  still  too  far  out  from  my  Sun  I  pass! 


Love,  We  Attend  the  Vision  of  the  Rose 

Stiamo,  Amor,  a  veder  la  gloria  nostra 

Love,  we  attend  the  Vision  of  the  Rose, 
Things  above  Nature  unsurpassed  and  new; 

Petrarch  265 

See  how  in  her  the  sweetness  falls  like  dew! 
See  how  on  earth  that  radiance  Heaven  shows! 

See  now  how  Art,  pearls,  purple  and  gold  bestows 
On  that  rich-favored  person  no  man  knew 
But  here;  who  sweetly  feet  and  eyebeams  through 
Shade  cloistered  by  the  hills,  moves  as  she  goes. 

The  emerald  grass  and  thousand-colored  flowers 

Sparse  in  the  shade  of  that  dark  ancient  tree 

Pray  her  white  feet  may  touch  their  leaves  of  green; 

Blue  sky  all  around  the  leafy  sunlit  bowers 

Bursts  into  flame  and  visibly  makes  glee 

That  such  bright  eyes  should  make  it  all  serene. 


Nowhere  So  Clearly  Have  My  Inward  Eyes 

Mai  non  fui  in  farte  ove  si  chiar  vedessi 

Nowhere  so  clearly  have  my  inward  eyes 
Beheld  her  whom  my  longing  sight  must  lose, 
Nowhere  am  I  so  free  as  in  Vaucluse, 
Nowhere  so  fill  the  air  with  amorous  cries. 
No  valley  ever  offered  sorrowing  guest 
Such  deep  seclusion,  leafy,  overgrown; 
I  cannot  think  that  Love  has  ever  known 
On  Cyprus  or  other  shore  so  sweet  a  nest. 

These  waters  speak  of  love,  the  air,  each  tree. 
Bird,  fish,  and  flower,  the  vines  and  grasses  say 
Together,  live  and  love  while  life  is  yours! 
But  you,  O  noble  lady  summoning  me, 
By  memories  of  your  bitter  death,  Oh  pray 
That  I  despise  the  world  its  hooks  and  lures. 


266  Italy 

The  Eyes  That  Drew  from  Me  Such  Fervent  Praise 

Gli  occhi  di  ch'io  farlai  si  caldamente 

The  eyes  that  drew  from  me  such  fervent  praise, 
The  arms  and  hands  and  feet  and  countenance 
Which  made  me  a  stranger  in  my  own  romance 
And  set  me  apart  from  the  well-trodden  ways; 

The  gleaming  golden  curly  hair,  the  rays 
Flashing  from  a  smiling  angel's  glance 
Which  moved  the  world  in  paradisal  dance, 
Are  grains  of  dust,  insensibilities. 

And  I  live  on,  but  in  grief  and  self-contempt, 
Left  here  without  the  light  I  loved  so  much, 
In  a  great  tempest  and  with  shrouds  unkempt. 

No  more  love  songs,  then,  I  have  done  with  such; 
My  old  skill  now  runs  thin  at  each  attempt, 
And  ears  are  heard  within  the  harp  I  touch. 


Great  Is  My  Envy  of  You,  Earth,  in  Your  Greed 

Quanta  invidia  io  ti  forto,  avara  terra 

Great  is  my  envy  of  you,  earth,  in  your  greed 
Folding  her  in  invisible  embrace, 
Denying  me  the  look  of  the  sweet  face 
Where  I  found  peace  from  all  my  strife  at  need! 

Great  is  my  envy  of  heaven  which  can  lead 
And  lock  within  itself  in  avarice 
That  spirit  from  its  lovely  biding-place 
And  leave  so  manv  others  here  to  bleed! 

Petrarch  267 

Great  is  my  envy  of  those  souls  whose  reward 

Is  the  gentle  heaven  of  her  company, 

Which  I  so  fiercely  sought  beneath  these  skies! 

Great  is  my  envy  of  death  whose  curt  hard  sword 
Carried  her  whom  I  called  my  life  away; 
Me  he  disdains,  and  mocks  me  from  her  eyes! 


The  Nightingale  Whose  Ardent,  Soft  Despair 
Quel  rosignuol  eke  si  soave  fiagne 

The  nightingale  whose  ardent,  soft  despair 
For  mate  or  offspring  lost,  unceasingly 
Sweetens  the  fields  and  skies  with  melody, 
With  plaintive,  brilliant  notes  suffusing  the  air, 
Accentuates  my  solitary  pain 
And  night-long,  as  it  seems,  accompanies  me 
Who  mourn  my  former  self  too  blind  to  see 
That  Death  in  goddesses  could  fix  his  reign. 

The  easiest  to  deceive  feels  more  secure! 
That  two  such  lovely  lights,  outvieing  the  sun, 
Could  ever  darken  to  dust — who  could  believe? 
Now  my  unpitying  fate  I  know;  undone, 
Weeping,  to  learn  that  ecstasy  must  grieve. 
No  joys  that  here  below  delight  endure. 


Go,  Grieving  Rimes  of  Mine,  to  That  Hard  Stone 
he,  rime  dolenti,  at  duro  sasso 

Go,  grieving  rimes  of  mine,  to  that  hard  stone 
Whereunder  lies  my  darling,  lies  my  dear, 

268  Italy 

And  cry  to  her  to  speak  from  heaven's  sphere. 
Her  mortal  part  with  grass  is  overgrown. 

Tell  her,  I'm  sick  of  living;  that  I'm  blown 

By  winds  of  grief  from  the  course  I  ought  to  steer, 

That  praise  of  heT  is  all  my  purpose  here 

And  all  my  business;  that  of  her  alone 

Do  I  go  telling,  that  how  she  lived  and  died 

And  lives  again  in  immortality, 

All  men  may  know,  and  love  my  Laura's  grace. 

Oh,  may  she  deign  to  stand  at  my  bedside 
When  I  come  to  die;  and  may  she  call  to  me 
And  draw  me  to  her  in  the  blessed  place! 


Small  Wandering  Bird  Who  Singing  Go  Your  Way 
Vago  augelletto  che  cantando  vai 

Small  wandering  bird  who  singing  go  your  way 
Or  rather  weeping,  it  may  be,  your  past, 
Seeing  your  night  and  winter  approaching  fast 
Bright  day  behind  you  and  the  month  of  May — 
As  you  know  well  your  own  long-borne  dismay 
So  should  you  know  I  likewise  am  downcast: 
You'd  come  into  this  yearning  heart  at  last 
To  share  its  grievous  pains  if  not  to  allay. 

I  know  not  if  your  fortunes  be  the  same 
For  She  for  whom  you  weep  perhaps  still  lives 
For  whom,  to  rob  me,  greedy  Death  soon  came; 
This  season,  this  unwelcome  hour  revives 
Alike  of  bitter  years  and  sweet  the  name, 
Courage  with  you  to  speak  of  pity  gives. 


Fazio  degli  Uberti  269 

Death  Cannot  Sour  the  Sweetness  of  Her  Face 
Non  fo  far  Morte  il  dolce  viso  amaro 

Death  cannot  sour  the  sweetness  of  her  face, 
Her  sweet  face  can  the  sour  of  death  dispel; 
She  taught  me  the  good  life,  and  now  she  shall 
Teach  me  to  die  the  good  death,  in  its  place. 

And  He  who  shed  His  blood  to  give  us  grace, 
Who  with  His  foot  broke  ope  the  gates  of  hell, 
Comforts  me  by  His  blessed  death,  as  well. 
So  come,  dear  Death;  come,  with  thy  kind  embrace. 

And  it  is  time,  O  Death,  do  not  delay; 
It  was  high  time  after  thy  cruel  power 
Had  made  Madonna  from  the  world  ascend. 

We'd  walked  together  all  along  the  way; 
Together  did  we  come  to  the  utmost  hour; 
And  where  she  halted  is  my  journey's  end. 



I  Gaze  upon  Her  Light  Crisp-Curling  Hair 

lo  guardo  i  cresfi  e  li  hiondi  cafelli 

I  gaze  upon  her  light  crisp-cuiling  hair 
Whereof  Love  weaves  a  net  entangling  me 
And  sometimes  to  ensnare  more  cunningly 
Baits  it  with  strings  of  pearls  or  a  vivid  flower. 
I  gaze  into  her  eyes,  at  once  aware 
How  they  through  mine  make  entrance  piercingly 
And  strike  my  heart  with  such  sharp  energy 
That  it  might  seem  a  sun's  immediate  power. 
Their  influence,  more  ascendant  hour  by  hour, 
Enthralls  me;  and  my  soul,  subjected,  sighs 

270  Italy 

Within  itself,  and  speaks  in  an  undertone, 

"Oh,  would  I  were  alone 

With  her,  alone,  that  I  might  make  her  eyes 

Two  mirrors  to  my  own — usurping  too 

Her  lovely  hair,  undo 

Its  beauty  wave  by  wave,  and  so  hold  fast 

In  love's  employment  radiance  unsurpassed." 

And  then  I  gaze  upon  her  ardent  mouth, 

Her  broad  forehead,  her  deep  expressive  eyes, 

White  teeth,  straight  nose,  brown  eyebrows'  traceries 

Outvieing  strokes  of  art.  Soliloquy 

Resumes,  and  thus  again  my  amorous  drouth 

Finds  words,  "Consider  her  lips  and  realize 

The  joy  of  besieging  and  taking  that  scarlet  prize 

Wherein  all  nectar  and  spices  seem  to  be. 

And  hear  her  speak,  how  well,  how  charmingly, 

Soft-toned,  with  gentle  courtesy.  Confess 

How  well  divided,  well  ordered,  her  words  unfold. 

Now  see  her  laugh — behold 

How  she  receives  and  gives  delightfulness!" 

Thus  dwelling  upon  her  mouth,  my  revery 

Says  irresistibly 

That  all  I  could  possess  would  be  well  spent 

If  those  lips  might  say  yes  with  full  assent. 

And  then  I  gaze  upon  her  slender  throat 

That  sweetly  rises  from  her  shoulders  and  breast, 

Her  chin,. small,  round,  and  dimpled;  east  or  west 

None  yields  to  favored  eyes  such  sheer  delight. 

My  thought,  allured  by  all  these  may  denote, 

Continues,  saying,  "Consider  the  perfect  zest 

Of  holding  that  neck  and  shoulders  tightly  pressed, 

Of  making  a  tiny  mark  on  a  throat  so  white." 

Thus  thought,  emboldened  further,  says,  "Invite 

Your  fancy.  If  what  you  see  can  so  excel 

In  beauty,  how  rich  must  be  what  hidden  lies, 

For  men  put  Paradise 

Beyond  the  visible  sun  and  stars  and  tell 

azio  degli  Uberti  271 

How  it  eclipses  splendors  seen  in  the  skies. 
Look  long,  and  let  your  eyes 
Imagine  beauty  exceeding  all  they  know, 
That  lies  beyond  where  their  keen  glances  go." 

And  then  I  gaze  at  shapely  arms,  a  pair 

Of  soft  hands  intertwining,  comely,  neat, 

Their  slender  tapering  fingers  made  complete 

By  one  bright  ring  that  borrows  beauty  of  them. 

My  thought  now  urges  me,  "What  if  you  were 

Even  now  in  those  arms  where  all  delights  would  meet 

In  concentration,  confluence  so  sweet 

That  I  could  find  no  words  for  such  a  theme! 

See  how  all  members  of  her  body  seem 

Rounded  and  full,  as  is  most  fitting  for  her, 

And  touched  with  delicate  tints  of  pearl-like  hue. 

Her  captives,  gladly  we  view 

Her  bearing,  though  she  can  frown  if  boldness  err; 

But  she  is  mild  and  modestly  discreet, 

In  virtuousness  replete, 

In  all  her  ways  so  high  in  excellence 

And  grace  that  she  commands  all  reverence." 

She  walks  with  soft  step  as  the  peacock  treads, 

Her  figure  erect  and  straight  as  the  elegant  crane; 

All  that  to  womanly  charm  may  appertain 

Is  hers  by  incontestable  birthright. 

"If  you  would  see,"  thought  counsels,  "how  she  sheds 

Lustre  about  her,  go  survey  the  train 

Of  ladies  lovely  and  gay;  the  loveliest  wane 

When  she  approaches,  as  the  stars  less  bright 

Pale  at  the  first  effulgence  of  sunlight. 

Thus  does  she  vanquish  all  among  the  throngs 

Of  rival  ladies  who  each  other  excel. 

Judge  then,  acknowledge  well 

Her  rarity  when  even  to  love  belongs 

No  more  than  the  beauty  and  goodness  found  in  her. 

Whatever  to  her  is  dear 

272  Italy 

Is  seemly,  decorous,  always  worthy  one 

Who  puts  her  hope  in  fair  deeds  meetly  done." 

Declare  it  all  with  confidence,  my  song, — 

That  since  the  dawn  of  womankind's  first  days 

Not  one  has  known  such  praise — 

Or  favor  comparable;  she  draws 

The  world's  stintless  applause 

For  inward  and  outward  beauty.  Such  her  estate, 

She  may,  I  fear,  be  somewhat  uncompassionate. 



An  Amorous  Thorn 
Inamorato  Pruno 

Never  in  all  my  days 

Did  I  behold,  as  yesterday  to  my  amaze, 

An  amorous  thorn.  Upon  an  emerald  green 

Beneath  a  prickly  press 

Of  boughs  reclined  a  gleaming  girl; 

And  when  a  spiny  branch  with  threatening  mien 

Snatched  at  a  golden  tress, 

She  would  reclaim  the  curl 

With  flashing  hand  of  pearl, 

Emboldening  the  bough  upon  its  thievish  ways. 

Never  have  I  beheld  such  amorous  strife 

As  then  when  all  set  free 

Her  tresses  shone,  and  wild 

Her  eyes  blazed  fire.  Never,  upon  my  life, 

Did  my  heart  strive  with  glee 

As  outwardly  I  smiled 

And  whispered,  self-beguiled, 

Who  would  have  thought  a  thorn  could  merit  praise? 


ranco  Sacchetti  273 

O  Lovely  Mountain  Shepherd  Lasses 
O  vaghe  montanine  fasturelle 

0  lovely  mountain  shepherd  lasses, 

Whence  do  you  come,  whose  beauty  all  surpasses? 
What  country  bears  such  fruit  beyond  all  others, 
What  far-off  joyful  lands,  what  happy  races? 
Children  of  Love  you  seem,  nor  men  your  brothers, 
So  well  your  gracious  presence  daylight  graces. 
Nor  gold  nor  silver  gleams  against  your  faces, 
And  yet  you  walk  as  if  an  angel  passes. 

High  up  upon  the  mountain  is  our  place, 

A  little  cabin  on  the  mountainside, 

And  thither  to  our  parents  we  retrace 

Over  the  slopes  our  steps  at  eventide, 

Over  the  flowered  meadows  which  provide 

Our  nourishment,  and  for  the  flocks  the  grasses. 

Then  doubtless  must  your  beauty  suffer  greatly 
If  only  fields  and  mountains  look  upon  her, 
For  there  exists  no  steepled  town  nor  stately 
City  which  your  presence  would  not  honor — 
Oh,  tell  me,  are  you  happy  in  this  manner, 
Ragged,  roaming  in  the  mountain  passes? 

Far  happier  are  we  living  as  we  do, 
Following  our  flocks  upon  the  open  downs, 
Than  you  and  yours  can  ever  be  when  you 
Sit  at  your  banquets  in  the  well-walled  towns. 
We  want  no  riches,  gems,  nor  costly  gowns — 
Content  to  live  and  sing  where  green  the  grass  is. 

Ballad,  if  I  could  live  my  life  once  more, 

A  mountain  shepherd  I  should  choose  to  be — 

No  spoken  word  would  pass  my  lips  before 

1  too  was  of  their  joyous  company, 
Calling  now  Martin,  now  Blondel  to  me, 
Following  ever  the  lovely  shepherd  lasses. 




The  dominant  influence  which  may  be  traced  in  the  lyric  of  i 
medieval  Italy  is  that  of  the  wandering  Provencal  troubadours 
who  first  appeared  in  Italy  toward  the  end  of  the  twelfth  cen- 
tury. Their  influence  was  so  great  that  initially  imitation  of  I 
their  poetry  went  beyond  matters  of  form  and  technique;  even 
their  language  was  borrowed,  and  native  poets  like  Rambertino 
Buvalelli,  Lanfranco  Cigala,  Sordello,  and  Brunetto  Latini  ac- 
tually wrote  in  the  idiom  of  Provence.  Among  the  first  to  adapt 
the  Provencal  lyric  to  the  volgare  locale  were  the  poets  of  the 
Sicilian  (or  Frederician)  school — Pier  delle  Vigne,  Giacomo 
da  Lentino,  Cielo  D'Alcamo,  Enzo  Re,  and  others — who,  com- 1 
ing  from  many  parts  of  Italy,  found  a  congenial  home  at  the 
learned,  cosmopolitan  court  of  the  Emperor  Frederick  II  (d.  I 
1250).  The  work  of  this  group  furnished  the  model  for  the  t 
poets  of  the  various  Tuscan  schools — Guittone  d'Arezzo,  Bona- 
giunta  Orbicciani  and  a  host  of  others — who,  like  their  prede- 
cessors, remained  essentially  "provencalizers,"  faithful   to  the 
amatory  aspirations,  the  motifs,  and  the  rigorous  technique  of  I 
the  troubadours. 

Despite  its  popularity  and  technical  excellence,  the  work  of  I 
the  Provencal  poets  and  their  imitators  were  not  entirely  suited 
to  the  modified  feudal  conditions  of  Italian  society.  Inevitably 
there  was  a  reaction  in  taste,  ushered  in  by  the  poets  of  the 
so-called  dolce  stil  novo,  who,  without  abandoning  the  themes 
and  forms  of  their  predecessors  (chiefly  the  sonnet,  canzone, 
and  ballata'),  sought  for  greater  delicacy  of  expression,  greater  1 
transparency,  and  fresher  diction.  The  father  of  this  group  of  ■ 
poets,  so  Dante  tells  us,  was  Guido  Guinizelli,  whose  canzone 
Al  cor  gentil  introduces  the  idea  of  the  lady-angel,  the  lady 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  2,75 

whose  presence  bestows  beatitude,  dispels  ill  thoughts,  and  in- 
spires her  lover  to  desire  spiritual  perfection.  In  her  fullest 
manifestation  (i.e.,  Dante's  Beatrice)  the  lady  becomes,  so  to 
speak,  the  vehicle  of  divine  illumination  and  grace.  The  poets 
who  adopted  and  developed  Guinizelli's  innovations  were  not 
numerous.  Guido  Cavalcanti,  Cino  da  Pistoia,  and,  of  course, 
Dante  were  the  only  ones  to  leave  a  substantial  body  of  poetry. 
But  their  influence  was  far-reaching.  It  is  prominent  in  the 
sonnets  of  Petrarch,  who  perhaps  more  than  any  other  single 
poet  helped  to  determine  the  shape  the  Renaissance  lyric  was 
to  take  in  nearly  every  country  of  Europe. 

Standing  largely  apart  from  the  tradition  of  the  "provencal- 
izers"  and  the  stilnovists  were  the  so-called  bourgeois  poets — 
Cecco  Angiolieri,  Fazio  degli  Uberti,  Folgore  da  San  Gimig- 
nano — comparatively  unpolished  and  unlearned,  whose  chief 
merit  lies  in  their  vigorous,  earthy  realism. — daniel  j.  donno 

bonagiunta  orbicci  ani  (c.  1220-1300),  also  known 
as  Bonagiunta  da  Lucca,  a  Tuscan  poet,  followed  in  the  tracks 
of  Guittone  d'Arezzo  (q.v.)  and  the  Provencal  poets,  opposing 
the  upsurge  of  the  dolce  stil  novo  poets,  especially  Guinizelli 
(q.v.),  for  their  obscurity.  In  Purgatorio,  Dante  depicted  him  as 
the  best  representative  of  the  pre-doZce  stil  novo  period. 

cecco  angiolieri  (c.  1250-1319)  was  born  in  Siena 
to  wealthy  parents  who  later  tried  to  curb  his  bohemian  ten- 
dencies, but  failed.  He  fell  in  love  with  his  shoemaker's  daugh- 
ter and  dedicated  to  her  many  sonnets  (he  wrote  only  sonnets), 
fought  her  and  other  wenches  so  ferociously  that  his  anger 
verges  on  the  farcical.  He  wrote  disrespectful  sonnets  to  Dante, 
whom  he  probably  met  at  the  battle  of  Campaldino  (1289).  In 
the  Decameron  (IX,  4)  Boccaccio  reveals  how  once  a  merry- 
maker stole  Cecco's  clothes.  Cecco's  hectic  life,  with  all  his 
quarrels  and  roguery,  with  his  biting  satires  and  witty  perversity 
(cf.  the  sonnet  included  here  against  his  parents,  "If  I  were 
fire"),  reminds  one  of  his  French  superiors:  Rutebeuf  (q.v.) 
and  Villon  (q.v.). 

276  Italy 

cielo  d'alcamo  (fl.  1 231),  probably  wrote  in  the  court 
(1220- 1 250)  of  Frederick  II,  Emperor  of  Sicily,  and  therefore 
is  grouped  with  the  Sicilian  School,  writers  concerned  primarily 
with  love  poetry.  He  adapted  the  Provencal  debates  (tenzone) 
into  the  memorable  contrasto,  or  dialogue,  included  here. 

cino  da  .pi  st  01  a  (c.  1270-1336),  born  in  Pistoia,  studied 
law  in  Bologna  and  other  universities,  and  after  the  Guelph 
victory  lived  in  exile,  teaching  in  various  law  schools.  With 
his  canzoni  and  sonnets  to  a  lady  (probably  Selvaggia  Vergio- 
lesi)  he  won  honors  from  Henry  VII  of  Luxemburg  and  praises 
from  Dante,  who  calls  him  the  Poet  of  Love  and  assigns  him  a 
lofty  place  in  Paradiso  (XXX,  136-138).  Indeed,  Cino  rejected 
most  of  the  artificial  elements  in  the  Provencal  poets  and  put 
greater  warmth  and  psychological  depth  into  his  lyrics,  clearing 
the  way  for  Petrarch. 

dante  alighieri  (1265-1321),  the  Florentine  author 
of  the  Divine  Comedy  is  Italy's  greatest  literary  genius,  whose 
canzoni  and  sonnets  are  perhaps  not  as  well  known  among 
readers  of  English  as  they  deserve  to  be.  The  Sestinas  here 
included,  also  called  "stony  poems/'  were  written  to  a  lady 
named  Pietra  (stone)  and  rank  with  his  sonnets  and  canzoni 
among  the  most  magnificent  lyrical  utterances  in  the  Italian 

enzo  re  (c.  1 220- 1 272),  the  illegitimate  child  of  Frederick 
II,  rivaled  his  father  in  courage  and  leadership.  In  1239  he 
conquered  the  island  of  Sardinia,  of  which  he  was  made  king. 
After  years  of  warfare,  he  was  captured  near  Modena,  at  the 
battle  of  Fossalta  (1249)  and  brought  to  Bologna.  During  his 
long  years  of  inprisonment  he  came  to  know  the  literary  figures 
of  his  day,  who  stimulated  him  to  write. 

Fazio  [bonifazio]  degli  uberti  (c.  1310- 
1370),  born  probably  in  Pisa  of  an  illustrious  Florentine  family, 
lived  in  many  Italian  courts  while  an  exile.  A  militant  Ghibel- 
line,  he  wrote  political  verse,  the  allegorical  treatise  Dittamondo 
(in  terza  rim  a) — whose  only  saving  grace  is  its  historical  and 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  277 

biographical  wealth — and  sundry  love  lyrics,  remarkably  grace- 

FOLGORE    DA    SAN    GIMIGNANo(c.    I250-I317),  whose 

real  name  was  Giacomo  di  Michele,  was  born  in  Siena.  After 
1305,  drawing  a  pension  for  military  services  rendered,  he 
lived  in  San  Gemignano  a  splendid  (hence,  folgore)  life  of 
leisure.  In  a  sonnet  sequence  reminiscent  of  the  Provencal 
plazers,  he  presents  the  pleasures  of  the  months  of  the  year — 
thus  mirroring  the  daily  life  and  occupations  of  the  Sienese 
nobility.  Cenne  dalla  Chitarra  parodied  this  sequence  with 
an  enueg,  listing  all  the  unpleasant  aspects  of  each  month  and 
:he  gross  manners  of  the  peasantry. 

Francis  of  a  ssi  si,  st.  (c.  1180-1226),  was  born  at 
Assisi,  where  his  wealthy  father  wanted  him  to  follow  a  com- 
mercial career,  but  he  was  more  fond  of  amusements.  However, 
ifter  his  miraculous  recovery  from  a  dangerous  illness,  he  de- 
moted himself  to  the  care  of  the  poor  and  the  sick,  repented  his 
iins,  became  a  soldier  of  Christ  and  founded  the  Franciscan 
Order.  Two  years  after  his  death  he  was  made  a  saint.  His 
Canticle  expresses  his  extraordinarily  deep,  all-embracing  char- 
ity toward  all  created  things. 

siacomo  da  lentino  (c.  1 189-1240),  born  in  Tus- 
cany, studied  at  the  University  of  Bologna  with  Pier  della 
Vigna  and  Mostacci,  and  in  1233  became  one  of  the  chief 
notaries  of  Frederick  II  (that  is  why  Dante  called  him  the 
Notary  in  Purgatorio,  XXIV,  56).  One  of  the  most  gifted  poets 
of  the  Sicilian  School,  he  has  left  us  poems  in  the  sonnet  form, 
which  it  is  claimed  he  invented,  and  canzoni — in  all  some  forty 

guido  cavalcanti  (c.  1255-1300),  born  in  Florence 
of  noble  parents,  participated  with  his  friend  Dante  in  the 
political  strife  of  the  day,  and  suffered  exile,  dying  of  malaria 
in  Sarzana.  He  is  mentioned  by  his  father,  Cavalcante  de' 
Cavalcanti,  in  a  moving  scene  in  the  Inferno.  With  his  famous 
song  "Donna  mi  prega"  the  dolce  stil  novo  reached  its  apogee, 

278  Italy 

this  canzone  being  one  of  the  purer  and  most  genuine  expres- 
sions of  these  poets'  philosophy  of  love.  Dante  dedicated  his 
Vita  Nuova  to  Cavalcanti. 

guido  guinizelli(c.  1225-1276),  born  in  Bologna  of 
a  distinguished  Ghibelline  family,  became  a  judge  (like  his 
father)  in  1268.  On  the  victory  of  the  Guelphs  he  was  exiled, 
and  died  two  years  later.  He  is  considered  the  first  practitioner 
of  the  dolce  stil  novo,  and  Dante  and  Cavalcanti  referred  to  him 
as  their  master.  His  poem  "The  Gentle  Heart,"  included  here, 
holds  an  importance  far  beyond  its  modest  poetic  merits.  It  is 
commonly  cited  as  the  source  for  the  concept  of  the  angelic 
lady  Qdonna  angelicata),  which  attained  its  highest  expression 
in  Dante's  Beatrice  as  presented  in  the  Vita  Nuova  and  the 
Divine  Comedy.  Modified  and  attenuated,  it  also  reappeared 
in  Petrarch's  sonnets  and,  largely  through  their  influence,  be- 
came a  commonplace  in  Renaissance  love  poetry. 

guittone  d'arezzo  (c.  1230-1294),  born  in  Santa 
Formena,  near  Arezzo,  joined  the  Guelphs,  and  was  exiled 
about  1260,  entering  soon  thereafter  the  Order  of  Knights  of 
Saint  Mary,  composing  from  then  on  only  religious  poems  and 
laudes  in  ballad  form.  In  addition  to  these,  there  are  also  extant 
many  lyrics,  epistles  in  verse  and  in  prose  on  moral,  political, 
and  religious  subjects.  The  year  after  his  return  to  his  native 
city  he  died.  He  has  been  held  to  be  one  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished among  the  Tuscan  poets. 

jacopone  da  todi  (1236-1306),  born  in  Todi,  in  Um- 
bria,  of  a  noble  family,  studied  law  and  became  rich  and 
famous.  He  married  a  beautiful  lady  and  upon  discovering  at 
her  premature,  tragic  death  that  she  wore  sackcloth  under  her 
elaborate  gowns,  he  renounced  his  life  of  pleasure  and  became 
a  Franciscan  monk  To  him  is  ascribed  the  Stab  at  Mater  and 
deeply  religious  poetry,  such  as  the  laudes,  included  here. 

onesto  da  b  o  l  o  g  n  a  (fl.  1301),  was  a  lawyer — a  deed 
drawn  by  him  in  1301  is  preserved  in  the  archives  of  Bologna. 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  2,79 

?etrArch,  Francesco  (1 304-1 374),  one  of  the  world's 
greatest  lyric  poets,  was  born  at  Arezzo,  where  his  Florentine 
rather  lived  in  exile.  For  years  he  lived  in  Avignon  and  Vau- 
;luse,  studied  law  at  Montpellier  and  Bologna  (1323),  be- 
ginning there  his  writing.  He  met  Laura  de  Sade,  a  married 
woman,  in  a  church  in  Avignon,  and  she  may  have  been  the 
Laura  he  continued  to  love  even  after  her  death  (1348).  Most 
:he  poems  included  here  show  his  love  for  Laura  while  she  was 
dive,  except  for  the  last  eleven,  written  after  her  untimely 
leath.  "Gluttony,  Torpor,  Pillowed  Slothfulness"  was  addressed 
:o  a  friend  who  devoted  himself  to  the  study  of  literature  and 
)hilosophy;  'Weep,  Ladies  All!  Let  Love  Too  Weep  with  You!" 
vas  written  at  the  death  of  Cino  da  Pistoia  (q.v.). 

unaldo  d  '  aquino  O-1279),  probably  of  the  same 
amily  as  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  held  office  as  falconer  ( 1 240)  of 
Frederick  II  and  later  joined  Charles  d'Anjou.  Of  the  twelve 
;ongs  ascribed  to  him,  the  most  beautiful  is  the  one  here  in- 
Juded,  the  lament  of  a  girl  whose  lover  has  left  for  a  crusade. 
Since  the  Emperor  mentioned  is  Frederick  II,  the  crusade  in 
juestion  is  either  that  of  1 228  or  1 240. 

Iacchetti,  franco  ( i 335-1400),  derived  from  a  noble 
jJuelph  family.  A  man  of  sterling  character,  he  filled  many 
mblic  offices  in  Florence  and  was  named  ambassador  to 
Bologna  in  1376.  Highly  cultured,  he  wrote  verse  and  some  of 
he  finest  stories  of  early  Italian  fiction,  the  Trecentonovelle, 
vhich,  despite  his  claim  that  he  imitated  Boccaccio,  show  his 
)riginality  and  satiric  qualities. 



Arabic  Poets  From  Andalusia 

BEN  SUHAYD  (992-1034)  Translated  by 

The  Storm  Lysander  Kemp      289 

Ben  Hazm  (994-1063) 
The  Visit  of  the  Beloved  Lysander  Kemp      289 

Abu-L-Hasan  Al-Husri  (d.  1095) 
In  Mourning  Lysander  Kemp      290 

Ibn  Al-Talla  (Xlth  century) 
The  Artichoke  William  M.  Davis      290 

Abu-L-Hasan  Ben  Al-Qabturnuh  (c.  1126) 
In  Battle  Lysander  Kemp      290 

Abu  Salt  Umayya  (1 067-1 134) 
The  White  Horse  Lysander  Kemp      291 

Ali  Ben  Hariq  (d.  1225) 
The  Oars  of  the  Galley  Lysander  Kemp      291 

Sahl  Ben  Malik  (i  163-1249) 
The  Dawn  Lysander  Kemp     291 

282  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Abu  Zakariyya  (d.  1249) 
The  Spear  Lysander  Kemp      292 

Ben  Said  Al-Magribi  (121 4-1 274) 
The  Battle  Lysander  Kemp      292 

Qadi  Ben  Lubbal  (d.  1284) 
Night  Fiesta  on  the  River  Lysander  Kemp      292 

Anonymous  Mozarabic  Jarchas  (c.  1040) 

William  M.  Davis 

So  Much  Loving,  So  Much  Loving  293 

Tant'  amare,  tant'  amare 
What  Shall  I  Do  or  What  Become  of  Me?  293 

Que  fare  yo  o  que  serdd  de  mihi? 
My  Lord  Ibrahim  294 

Mio  sidi  Ibrahim 
Come,  Bewitcher!  294 

Ven,  ya  sahhara! 
If  You  Truly  Want  Me  294 

Si  queres  como  bono  mub 
Comes  Easter,  Ah,  without  Him  295 

Venio  la  Pasca,  ay  aun 
No,  Little  Sweetheart,  No  295 

Non,  quero,  non  jillello 
Mother,  See  My  Love!  295 

Mamma,  ayy  habibi 
Mother,  I  Shall  Not  Sleep  295 

Non  dormireyo,  mamma 
Now  Like  Another's  Child  296 

Como  si  filiolo  alieno 
Mercy,  Lover  Mine!  296 

Amau,  ya  habibi 

Hebrew  Poets 

William  M.  Davis 

Solomon  Ibn  Gabirol  (i  001  -1058) 
She  Looked  at  Me  and  Her  Eyelids  Burned  297 

Behold  the  Lovely  Maid!  297 

'he  Iberian  Peninsula  283 


.frah  298 

taps  without  Wine  Are  Lowly  298 

lie  Earth,  like  a  Girl,  Sipped  the  Rains  298 

>ne  Day  I  Fondled  Her  on  My  Knees  3°° 

Galician-Portuguese  Poets 
Airas  Nunes  (c.  1 175-1250) 

he  Summertime  Delights  Me  3°° 

Que  muyto  m'eu  pago  deste  verao  William  M.  Davis 

et  the  Three  of  Us  Now  Dance,  Oh  Friends  3QI 

Baylemos  nos  ia  todas  tres,  ay  amigas  Lawrence  A.  Sharpe 

^hen  Truth  Disappeared  from  the  World  3QI 

Porque  no  mundo  menguou  a  verdade  William  M.  Davis 

Nuno  Fernandez  de  Turneol  (fl.  1225) 
jrise,  Fond  Lover,  Who  Sleeps  on  Chilly  Mornings  302 

Levad  amigo  que  durmides  as  maiianas  frias  William  M.  Davis 

Alfonso  X  [King  Alfonso  the  Wise} 
ong  VII  303 

Cantiga  Vll  John  E.  Keller 

ong  XVIII  305 

Cantiga  XVU1  John  E.  Keller 

Pero  Meogo  [Peter  the  Monkl  (fl.  1250) 
>11  Me,  Daughter,  Pretty  Daughter  308 

Digades,  fdla  mina,  fdla  belida  William  M.  Davis 

n  the  Green  Grass  309 

En  as  verdes  ervas  William  M.  Davis 

Ay  Friend  Is  Going,  Mother  310 

Tal  vai  o  meu  amigo  William  M.  Davis 

Joan  Zorro  (fl.  1250) 
lair,  My  Pretty  Hair  310 

Cabelos,  los  meus  cabelos  William  M.  Davis 

n  Lisbon  by  the  Sea  311 

En  Lixboa,  sobre  lo  mar  William  M.  Davis 

284  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Along  the  River  Shore  3 1 1 

Per  ribeira  do  rio  William  M.  Davis 

Let's  Dance,  Let's  Dance,  Us  Pretties  312, 

Bailemos  nos  xa  todas,  ay  amigas  William  M.  Davis 

Martin  Codax  (fl.  1250) 
O  Waves  of  the  Sea  of  Vigo  3 1 3 

Ondas  do  mar  de  Vigo  William  M.  Davis 

Ah,  Waves,  I  Come  to  See  313 

Ai  ondas  que  eu  vin  veer  William  M.  Davis 

Afonso  Lopes  de  Baian  (fl.  1 253-1 278) 
They  Have  Told  Me  Some  News  3J4 

Diseron  mi  hunhas  novas  Lawrence  A.  Sharpe 

Roi  Fernandez  (Xlllth  century) 

When  I  See  the  Waves  314 

Cand'eu  vexo  las  ondas  William  M.  Davis 

Joan  de  Guilhade  {Xlllth  century) 
For  Mr.  X  I've  Only  Mischief  3 1 5 

A  don  Foam  quer'eu  gra  mal  William  M.  Davis 

Alas,  Ugly  Lady,  You  Complained  3*6 

Ai,  dona  fea,  foste-vos  queixar  William  M.  Davis 

Friend,  I  Can't  Deny  317 

Amigo,  non  poss'eu  negar  William  M.  Davis 

Joao  Roiz  de  Castelo-Branco 
( late  Xlllth  century  ) 
Song  of  Parting  3X7 

Cantiga,  partindo-se  William  M.  Davis 

King  Dinis  of  Portugal  [Dom  Dinis] 
O  Flowers,  O  Flowering  Green  Pine  3J8 

Ai  flores,  ai  {lores  do  verde  pio  William  M.  Davis 

A  Shepherdess  Well  Made  319 

Ua  pastor  ben  talhada  William  M.  Davis 

Provencals  Right  Well  May  Versify  32° 

Proengaes  soen  mui  ben  trobar  William  M.  Davis 

John  Bolo's  Acting  Grim  321 

Joam  Bol'and  mal  desbaratado  William  M.  Davis 

The  Iberian  Peninsula  285 

Macias  O  Namorado  (fl.  1 360-1 390) 
I  Went  in  Quest  of  Measure  32i 

Provei  de  buscar  mesura  William  M.  Davis 

Castilian  Poets 


Lament  of  the  Virgin  323 

Duelo  de  la  Virgen  Beatrice  P.  Patt 

Juan  Lorenzo  (fl.  1250) 

From  The  Book  of  Alexander  325 

Libro  de  Alexandre  William  M.  Davis 

Anonymous  (XHIth  century) 
Dispute  of  Elena  and  Maria  327 

Disputa  de  Elena  y  Maria  William  M.  Davis 

Juan  Ruiz,  Archpriest  of  Hita 
(c.  1283-1350) 
From  The  Book,  of  True  hove  [Libro  de  Buen  Amor] 

Encounter  of  the  Archpriest  with  Ferrand  Garcia  328 

De  lo  que  acontescio  al  Arcipreste  con  Ferrand  Garcia 

Edwin  Honig 

Don  Pitas  Payas  329 

Don  Pitas  Payas  William  M.  Davis 

Hill  Song  [Near  Tablada]  331 

Cantica  de  serrana  [Cerca  la  Tablada]         William  M.  Davis 
Easter  Day  334 

De  como  clerigos  e  legos  e  flayres  e  monjas 

e  duenas  e  joglares  salieron  a  recebir  a  don  Amor 

James  Edward  Tobin 

Of  the  Characteristics  of  Small  Women  334 

De  las  propiedades  que  les  duenas  chicas  ban 

William  M.  Davis 

Sem  Tob  (c.  1290-1369) 
From  Moral  Proverbs 

Some  I've  Seen  So  Crudely  336 

Unos  vi  con  locura  Norman  T.  Di  Giovanni 

There's  No  Day  without  Night  336 

Non  ay  syn  noche  dia  Norman  T.  Di  Giovanni 

There's  No  Finer  Treasure  337 

Non  ay  buen  thesoro  Norman  T.  Di  Giovanni 

286  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Whether  Long  or  Sparing  337 

Quier  larga,  quiet  escasa  William  M.  Davis 

Diego  Hurtado  de  Mendoza  (c.  1364-1404) 
That  Tree,  with  Its  Leaves  Atremble  337 

A  aquel  drbol  que  tnueve  la  foxa  Kate  Flores 

Ferran  Sanchez  Calavera  (d.  1450) 
By  God,  My  Lords,  Let  us  Lift  the  Veil  338 

Pot  Dios,  senores,  quitemos  et  velo  William  M.  Davis 

Inigo  Lopez  de  Mendoza, 
marques  de  santillana  (1398-i458) 
Far  from  You  and  Close  to  Care  34 l 

Lejos  de  vos  y  cerca  de  cuidado  Frances  Fletcher 

Mountain  Song  of  Finojosa  342. 

Serranilla  de  la  Finojosa  Martin  Nozick 

JUAN  DE  MENA   (14II-I456) 

Mourning  of  the  Mother  of  Lorenzo  Davalos  343 

Duelo  de  la  madre  de  Lorenzo  Davalos  William  M.  Davis 

Jorge  Manrique  (c.  1440-1478) 
Stanzas  on  the  Death  of  His  Father  344 

Coplas  por  la  muerte  de  su  padre  Edwin  Morgan 

Anonymous  (1464) 
The  Barbs  of  Mingo  Revulgo  35* 

Las  coplas  de  Mingo  Revulgo  William  M.  Davis 

Anonymous  Traditional  Songs 

[El  Cancionero]  (c.  Xlth-XVth  century) 

If  You  Go  to  Bathe,  Juanica  357 

Si  te  vas  a  banar  Juanica  James  Duffy 

Those  Mountains,  Mother  357 

Aquellas  sierras,  madre  James  Duffy 

I  Refuse  to  Be  a  Nun  357 

No  quiero  ser  monja,  no  James  Duffy 

I  Will  Not  Pick  Verbena  358 

Que  no  cogere  verbena  James  Duffy 

Do  Not  Speak  to  Me,  Count  358 

No  me  hableis,  conde  James  Duffy 

The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Hill  Song  of  La  Zarzuela 

Serranilla  de  La  Zarzuela 
Gentle  Knight/  Now  Give  Me  a  Kiss 

Gentil  caballero/  dedesme  hora  un  beso 
To  Whom  Shall  I  Tell  My  Sorrows? 

I A  quien  contare  mis  quejas? 

I  Grew  Up  in  a  Village 

Crieme  en  aldea 
Out  of  Love 

Por  amores  lo  maldijo 

William  M.  Davis 

William  M.  Davis 

William  M.  Davis 

William  M.  Davis 

William  M.  Davis 




Anonymous  (c.  Xlth-XVth 

century ) 

The  Romancero  or  Book  of  Ballads  [El  Romancero] 

Ballad  of  Juliana 



Edwin  Honig 

Count  Arnaldos 


El  Conde  Arnaldos 

William  M.  Davis 

Ballad  of  the  Fair  Melisenda 


La  linda  Melisenda 

Edwin  Honig 

The  Prisoner 


El  prisionero 

Kate  Flores 

Ballad  of  the  Cool  Fountain 


Fonte  Frida 

Edwin  Honig 




William  M.  Davis 




Lysander  Kemp 

Moriana's  Poison 


El  veneno  de  Moriana 

William  M.  Davis 

The  Mistress  of  Bernal  Frances 


La  amiga  de  Bernal  Frances 

William  M.  Davis 

Catalan  Poets 

Ramon  Llull  (c.  1233-1315) 
To  You,  Lady  Virgin  Santa  Maria 

A  vos,  Dona  Verge  Santa  Maria 
When  the  Star  Appears  at  Daybreak 

Quan  par  Vestela  en  Valbor 

William  M.  Davis 



2,88  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Anonymous  (XIV th  century) 
Alas!  If  I  Had  Married  374 

Lassa!  Mais  m'agra  valgut/que  fos  maridada 

Pere  March  (c.  1338-1413) 
The  Widow  Wearing  White  or  Saffron  375 

Viuda  que  port  color  branch  ne  saffra 
Ladies  I  Like  Well  Dressed  375 

Dompna'm  platz  ben  arreada 

Ausias  March  (i 397-1 459) 
The  Time  Is  Such  That  Each  Brute  Beast  376 

Lo  temps  es  tal  que  tot  animal  brut 
Where  Is  the  Place  My  Thought  May  Find  Repose?  377 

On  es  lo  Hoc  on  ma  pensa  repose? 

JORDI  DE  SANT  JORDI  (c.   I399-I430) 
Below  the  Brow  I  Bear  Your  Lovely  Countenance  379 

Sus  lo  front  port  vostra  bella  semblanga 
Vexation,  Enemy  of  Youth  381 

Enuig,  enemich  de  jovent 
I  Have  No  Liking  for  One  Who  in  All  Things  Is  Not  385 

No  m'asalt  d'om  qu'en  tots  afars  no  sia 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  386 


Arabic  Poets  From  Andalusia 


The  Storm 

The  flowers  lift  their  open  mouths  in  the  dark, 
seeking  the  bountiful  udders  of  the  rain, 

and  the  black  clouds  parade  in  grand  battalions, 
armed  with  golden  sabers  of  the  lightning. 



The  Visit  of  the  Beloved 

When  you  came  to  me,  it  was  a  little  before 

the  Christians  rang  their  bells, 
when  the  half  moon  was  climbing  up  the  sky. 

It  was  like  the  raised  eyebrow  of  an  old  man, 

each  hair  of  it  white, 
or  like  the  delicate  arch  of  your  white  foot. 

The  dawn  had  still  not  risen,  yet  the  great 

bow  of  the  Lord 
shone  against  the  horizon  at  your  coming, 

radiant  with  every  color 

like  the  peacock's  tail. 


290  The  Iberian  Peninsula 


In  Mourning 

White  is  the  color  worn  for  mourning 
in  Andalusia,  and  that  is  just. 

Why  do  I  wear  the  grief-stricken 

white  of  these  white  hairs? 

Because  I  am  in  mourning  for  my  youth. 



The  Artichoke 

Daughter  of  earth  and  water,  her  bounty 
Is  offered  to  him  who  awaits  her 
Locked  in  a  castle  of  greed. 

By  her  whiteness,  and  the  fastness  of  her  refuge, 
She  seems  like  a  Greek  virgin 
Concealed  in  a  veil  of  spears. 



In  Battle 

I  remembered  Sulayma  when  the  passion 

of  battle  was  as  fierce 
as  the  passion  of  my  body  when  we  parted. 

Arabic  Poets  from  Andalusia  291 

I  thought  I  saw,  among  the  lances,  the  tall 

perfection  of  her  body, 
and  when  they  bent  toward  me  I  embraced  them. 



The  White  Horse 

It  was  as  white  as  the  morning  star  at  dawn, 

and  it  marched  proudly,  bearing  its  golden  saddle. 

A  man  who  envied  me  asked,  when  he  saw  it 
prancing  behind  me  to  the  combat: 

'Who  has  bridled  the  daybreak  with  the  Pleiades, 
and  saddled  the  lightning  with  the  half  moon?" 



The  Oars  of  the  Galley 

It  seems  there  are  only  reptiles  in  the  hold, 
which  entered  in  Noah's  day  to  escape  the  Flood. 

They  think  the  waters  are  rising  again,  and  each 
serpent,  alarmed,  flickers  its  tongue  at  an  opening. 



The  Dawn 

When  the  first  light  came  and  I  saw  her  brush 
the  dew  from  her  smooth  brow,  I  said  to  my  love, 

292  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

"I  fear  the  sun  has  discovered  our  secret." 

She  answered,  "Please  God  that  my  brother  has  not!" 



The  Spear 

It  was  dark  till  the  dust  of  battle  covered 

its  head  with  white  hair: 
old  age  has  always  followed  after  youth. 

When  I  thrust  it  toward  the  enemy,  it  seemed 

the  rope  with  which  I  drew 
blood  from  the  deep  well  of  a  hero's  heart. 



The  Battle 

Dear  God,  the  standards  of  the  knights 
hovered  like  birds  round  your  enemies! 

The  spears  punctuated  what  the  swords  wrote; 
the  dust  of  battle  was  the  sand  that  dried 
the  writing;  and  the  blood  perfumed  it. 



Night  Fiesta  on  the  River 

By  day  the  river's  throat  was  bare  of  adornments, 
but  later,  in  the  night,  it  gleamed  with  jewels. 

Mozarabic  Jarchas  293 

The  lantern-lights  outshone  the  stars;  their  bright 
reflections  were  like  spears  lost  in  the  water. 

When  the  ships  loomed  on  the  spread  wings  of  their  sails, 
the  rowboats  fled  on  the  long  legs  of  their  oars, 

escaping  as  the  hare  escapes  the  falcon. 


Anonymous  Mozarabic  Jarchas 

So  Much  Loving,  So  Much  Loving 
Tant'  amare,  taut'  amare 

So  much  loving,  so  much  loving 
Darling,  so  much  loving 
Made  gay  eyes  grow  dim 
With  so  much  longing! 



What  Shall  I  Do  or  What  Become  of  Me? 
Que  fare  yo  o  que  serdd  de  mibi? 

What  shall  I  do  or  what  become  of  me? 


Don't  abandon  me! 



294  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

My  Lord  Ibrahim 

Mio  sidi  Ibrahim 

My  lord  Ibrahim, 

Oh  dulcet  name, 

Come  to  me 
By  night. 
If  not,  if  you  will  not, 

Then  I  shall  come  to  you. 
Tell  me  where 
To  find  you. 


Come,  Bewitcher! 

Ven,  ya  sahharal 

Come,  bewitcher! 
Morning,  fair  with  vigor 
Rising,  seeks  your  love. 



If  You  Truly  Want  Me  j 

Si  queres  como  bono  mub 

If  you  truly  want  me, 
Kiss  this  string  of  pearls: 
This  little  mouth  of  cherries. 



Mozarabic  Jarchas  295 

Comes  Easter,  Ah,  without  Him 

Venio  la  Pasca,  ay  aun 

Comes  Easter,  ah,  without  him, 
My  heart  is  wounded  for  him. 



No,  Little  Sweetheart,  No 
Non,  qtiero,  non  jillello 

No,  little  sweetheart,  no, 
I  only  want  the  dark  one. 



Mother,  See  My  Love! 
Mamma,  ayy  habibi 

Mother,  see  my  love! 
Under  his  golden  ringlets 
His  neck  so  white, 
His  little  mouth  of  crimson. 



Mother,  I  Shall  Not  Sleep 
Non  dormireyo,  mamma 

Mother,  I  shall  not  sleep 
Wb*m  morning  rises 

296  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

But  dream  of  Abu-1-Qasim, 
His  features  dawning. 



Now  Like  Another's  Child 
Como  si  filiolo  alieno 

Now  like  another's  child, 
My  breast  is  not  your  pillow. 


Mercy,  Lover  Mine! 
Amau,  ya  habibi 

Mercv,  lover  mine! 
Leave  me  not  alone. 
Beauty,  kiss  my  lips: 
I  know  you  will  not  go. 


Hebrew  Poets 


She  Looked  at  Me  and  Her  Eyelids  Burned 

She  looked  at  me  and  her  eyelids  burned, 
While  her  goblet  brimmed  with  tears; 

Solomon  Ibn  Gabirol  297 

The  words  overflowed  her  mouth,  like  strings  of  pearls, 
And  the  smile  on  her  lips  defied  compare  with  gold'. 
But  the  rebuke  she  sent  my  soul 
Wounded  me  like  the  words  of  the  creditor 

to  the  poor  debtor. 
Meanwhile,  the  cup  passed  from  hand  to  hand 

like  the  sun  amid  the  heavens, 
And  day  receded,  fleeting,  like  waves  along  the  shore, 
But  my  blood,  receding  at  unison  of  day, 
Tinged  my  cheeks  bright  red:  she  will  not  return. 


Behold  the  Lovely  Maid! 


Behold  the  lovely  maid!  The  bracelets 

On  her  arms  gleam  like  the  tiles  of  Ahasuerus 

Her  walk  is  comely,  with  sprightly  step 

And  the  sound  of  them 

Is  as  the  tinkling  of  her  jewels. 

The  moon  would  be  her  diadem 

And  the  Pleiades  her  bangles. 

While  the  sun,  at  its  height,  turns  pale, 

And,  shamefaced,  hides  behind  her  veils. 

Her  lover  beholds  her  with  loving  looks 

For  until  the  dawn,  he  has  kept  his  vigil. 

But  she  counts  your  hopes;  be  aware 

That  in  her  eyes  your  vigils  are  as  gifts. 

Surely  her  curving  breasts  are  ripe  for  love, 

For  the  folds  of  her  tunic  cannot  conceal  them.- 

the  poet: 

Seek  not  to  incite  your  lover's  heart 
For  now  in  him  the  fires  of  love  are  quenched;. 
The  burning  embers  quickly  turned  to  ashes. 
And  the  sun  of  his  love  grew  dark. 

298  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

They  told  me,  "Go  and  serve  the  world!" 

But  one  who  is  its  master  cannot  become  its  servant. 




Afrah  laves  her  garments  in  the  waters 
Of  my  tears,  and  spreads  them 

In  the  sunshine  of  her  glow. 
She  begs  no  water  of  the  fountains, 

Having  my  two  eyes; 
Nor  any  sunshine  but  her  beauty. 



Cups  without  Wine  Are  Lowly 

Cups  without  wine  are  lowly 
As  a  pot  thrown  on  the  ground 
But,  full  of  juice,  they  shine 
Like  the  body  with  a  soul. 



The  Earth,  like  a  Girl,  Sipped  the  Rains 

The  earth,  like  a  girl,  sipped  the  rains 

Of  winter  past,  and  those  the  ministering  cloud 

Or  perhaps,  like  a  secluded  bride  in  winter, 
Whose  soul  longs  for  the  coming  of  love's  time 
She  waited,  and  sought  the  season  ripe  for  love 
Till  summer  came,  and  calmed  her  anxious  heart 

Judah  Halevi  299 

Wearing  golden  tunics  and  white  embroidered  flax. 
Like  a  girl  who  delights  in  heT  finery  and  raiment, 
Every  day  she  renews  the  grace  of  her  embroiderers 
And  provides  all  her  neighbors  with  new  garments. 
Every  day  she  changes  the  colors  of  her  fields 
Now  with  strings  of  pearls,  now  with  emeralds  or  rubies, 
Offering  her  meadows  now  white  or  green  or  gold 
Or  blushing  like  the  sweetheart  kissing  her  beloved. 
Her  trellises  display  such  gorgeous  flowers 
It  seems  as  if  she  stole  the  stars  from  heaven. 
Here  is  paradise,  whose  sheltered  buds  are  clustered 
Among  the  vines,  kindled  with  blushes  that  incite  to  love. 
The  grapes  are  cold  as  snow  in  the  hand  of  him 

who  plucks  them. 
But  in  his  entrails,  they  burn  as  hot  as  fire. 
From  the  whirling  cask,  the  wine,  like  sun,  is  rising. 
And  we  shall  bring  our  onyx  cups  to  pour  it. 
In  the  love  of  wine  we  shall  stroll  beneath  the  bowers 
Around  the  garden,  and  smile  with  tears  of  rain, 
Bright  with  shining  drops  spilled  by  the  clouds 
That  scatter  round  like  strings  of  pearls. 
She  finds  joy  in  the  song  of  the  swallow, 

and  in  the  song  of  the  vintagers, 
And  in  cooing  pigeons  tamed  by  love. 
She  twitters  in  the  branches,  as  the  maiden  sings 
Behind  her  zither,  swaying  as  she  dances. 
My  soul  is  attentive  to  the  breeze  of  dawn, 
For  it  fondles  the  breath  of  my  beloved. 
A  wanton  breeze  it  is,  that  steals  the  scent  of  myrtles 
To  waft  it  off  to  lovers  apart. 
The  heads  of  the  myrtle  rise  and  nod  in  turn 
While  the  tremulous  fronds  of  the  palm  tree 
Seem  to  applaud  the  singing  of  the  birds. 



300  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

One  Day  I  Fondled  Her  on  My  Knees 


One  day  I  fondled  her  on  my  knees, 
And  she  saw  her  image  reflected  in  my  pupils; 
And  then,  sporting,  she  kissed  my  eyes, 
Yet  kissed  not  them,  but  her  image. 


Galician-Portuguese  Poets 


The  Summertime  Delights  Me 
Que  muyto  meu  fago  deste  verdo 

The  summertime  delights  me 
With  branches,  buds,  and  flowers, 
With  birds  that  twitter  lovesongs 
And  carefree,  happy  hours. 
Then,  like  every  lover 
Fm  joyful  and  content 

I  stroll  along  the  river 
By  trees,  and  through  the  glen. 
When  lovebirds  sing  their  lovesongs 
I  sing  of  love  a  while 
And  follow  them,  inventing 
A  thousand  tunes  a  mile. 

I'm  full  of  joy  and  happiness 
To  hear  their  summer  smile. 


Airas  Nunes  3Q1 

Let  the  Three  of  Us  Now  Dance,  Oh  Friends 

Baylemos  nos  ia  todas  tres,  ay  amigas 

Let  the  three  of  us  now  dance,  oh  friends, 

beneath  these  flowering  hazel  trees, 

and  whoever  is  beautiful,  as  we  are  beautiful, 

if  she  loves  a  lover, 

under  these  flowering  hazel  trees 

she  will  come  to  dance. 

Let  all  three  of  us,  oh  sisters, 

under  this  branch  of  these  hazels, 

and  whoever  is  pretty,  as  we  are  pretty, 

if  she  love  a  lover, 

under  this  branch  of  these  hazels 

she  will  come  to  dance. 

For  God's  sake,  oh  friends,  while  we  are  idle, 
under  this  flowering  branch  let  us  dance, 
and  whoever  is  comely,  as  we  are  comely, 
if  she  love  a  lover, 

under  this  lonely  branch  where  we  dance 
she  will  come  to  dance. 


When  Truth  Disappeared  from  the  World 
Porque  no  mundo  menguou  a  verdade 

When  truth  disappeared  from  the  world 

I  ventured  to  inquire 

Where  she  might  have  gone. 

All  said,  "Seek  her  elsewhere, 

For  she  has  strayed  so  far 

No  news  of  her  can  come, 

Nor  is  she  at  the  friars'." 

302  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

At  the  cloister  of  the  friars, 

This  is  what  I  heard: 

"Don't  seek  truth  among  us, 

She  doesn't  live  here  now : 

We  don't  know  where  she's  moved  to, 

For  much  concerns  us  more." 

In  Cistel,  where  truth  once  dwelt, 
They  said  she  dwelt  no  more, 
Nor  had  she  now,  for  years. 
No  friar  or  abbot  knew  her, 
And  one  quite  simply  said: 
"I  hope  she  doesn't  come  here; 
She  lives  uncloistered  now." 

At  Saint  James  of  Compostela 

The  pilgrims  at  my  inn 

Said,  "By  God,  you've  strayed  afar 

But  truth  is  not  this  way. 

Go  try  another  road 

She's  left  no  message  here." 



Arise,  Fond  Lover,  Who  Sleeps  on  Chilly  Mornings 

Levad  amigo  que  durmides  as  mananas  frias 

Arise,  fond  lover,  who  sleeps  on  chilly  mornings, 
All  the  birds  are  chirping  lovesongs, 
Merrily  I  go! 

Arise,  fond  lover,  who  sleeps  on  mornings  chill, 
All  the  birds  are  singing  lovesongs, 
Merrily  I  go! 

Alfonso  X  303 

All  the  birds  are  chirping  lovesongs 
To  lie  about  your  love  and  mine. 
Merrily  I  go! 

All  the  birds  are  singing  lovesongs 
To  lie  about  your  love  and  mine. 
Merrily  I  go! 

To  lie  about  your  love  and  mine 
And  so  you  cut  their  branches  fine, 
Merrily  I  go! 

To  lie  about  your  love  and  mine 
And  so  you  cut  their  perches  fine, 
Merrily  I  go! 

And  so  you  cut  their  branches  fine 
And  dried  the  springs  they  drank  in. 
Merrily  I  go! 

And  so  you  cut  their  perches  fine 
And  dried  the  springs  they  bathed  in, 
Merrily  I  go! 


ALFONSO  X  [King  Alfonso  the  Wisel 

Song  VII 
Cantiga  Vll 

This  is  how  Saint  Mary  saved  the  pregnant  abbess,  who 
weeping  had  fallen  asleep  before  her  altar. 

We  should  love  Saint  Mary 
much,  and  we  should  beseech 
her  to  cast  her  grace  o'er  us, 
so  that  the  shameless 
fiend  will  not  make  us  sin. 

304  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Therefore  I  shall  tell  you 

a  miracle  which  I  found 

that  she,  Mother  of  the  Great  King, 

performed  for  an  abbess, 

for,  according  as  I  have  learned, 

she  was  her  devotee. 

But  the  devil  beguiled  her 

so  that  she  became  pregnant 

by  a  man  from  Bologna, 

a  man  who  took  great  care 

to  conceal  his  deed  and  her  need. 

We  should  love  Saint  Mary  .  .  . 

The  nuns,  when  they  found  out 
and  had  sure  knowledge  of  it, 
were  highly  delighted; 
For  because  she  had  never 
wished  to  let  them  sin, 
they  held  her  in  malice. 
And  they  went  to  accuse  her 
to  the  bishop  of  the  place, 
and  the  good  man  arrived  there 
from  Cologne,  and  when  he  had 
called,  she  came  without  delay, 
happy  and  smiling. 
We  should  love  Saint  Mary  .  .  . 

The  bishop  addressed  her  so : 
"Madam,  according  as  I  hear 
Wickedly  indeed  have  you  acted; 
and  therefore  I  have  come  here, 
so  that  now  before  me,  you 
may  make  amends  for  it." 
But  the  lady  without  delay 
began  to  call  the  Mother  of  God; 
and,  as  from  one  who  was  dreaming, 
Saint  Mary  had  the  child  taken 
and  sent  for  rearing  to  Saxony. 
We  should  love  Saint  Mary  .  .  . 

Alfonso  X  305 

When  the  lady  awakened 
and  found  herself  delivered, 
quickly  she  came  to  the  bishop; 
and  carefully  he  examined  her 
and  ordered  her  disrobed; 
and  as  soon  as  he  saw  her  body, 
he  began  to  praise  God 
and  to  curse  the  nuns,  who  were 
of  the  Order  of  Onna,  saying: 
,; .:  "As  God  helps  me,  I  can  declare 

This  one  saved  from  all  accusation/' 
We  should  love  Saint  Mary  .  .  . 



Song  XVIII 
Cantiga  XVIII 

This  is  how  Saint  Mary  caused  the  silkworms  to  make  the 
silk  for  two  head  veils,  because  the  woman  who  kept  them,  had 
promised  one  and  had  not  given  it  to  her. 

In  order  to  remove  us 
from  doubt  it  pleases 
Saint  Mary  to  show  us 
her  beautiful  miracles  daily. 

And  so  that  we  might  see 

her  loveliness 
she  performed  a  great  miracle 

in  Extremadura, 
in  Segovia,  where  dwelt 
a  lady  of  hers, 
who  in  her  house 
produced  much  silk. 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

Because  she  was  losing  her  silkworms 
and  had  little  silk, 

306  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

she  therefore  promised 

to  give  a  veil, 
so  as  to  honor  the  image 
that  stood  above  the  altar 
of  the  Virgin  without  par, 
in  whom  she  greatly  trusted. 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

Because  she  had  made  the  vow, 

the  silkworms  always 
increased  from  that  time 

and  did  not  perish; 
but  the  lady  in  the  great  leisure 
that  she  enjoyed  there 
ever  forgot  to  give 
the  silken  veil 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

Hence  it  befell  her 

that  in  a  great  festival 
in  August  that  she  came  there, 

during  the  height  of  siesta, 
to  pray  before  the  image; 
and  as  she  lay  there 
at  prayer  she  remembered 
the  veil  which  she  had  vowed. 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

With  heartfelt  weeping 

she  went  running  home 
and  beheld  then 

that  the  silkworms  were 
weaving  and  working 
earnestly  at  the  veil, 
and  she  began  to  weep 
with  the  greatest  of  joy 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

And  as  she  wept  thus, 

She  pondered  about 

Alfonso  X  307 

the  veil  and  therefore  called 

a  great  many  people  in 
so  that  they  might  see 
how  the  Mother  of  God 
knew  how  to  labor 
with  holy  skill. 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

The  people,  with  great  joy, 

when  they  beheld  this, 
giving  praise  to  the  Mother 

of  God,  went  forth 
to  proclaim  it  in  the  streets, 
saying:  "Come,  come 
to  behold  the  great  miracle 
that  she  who  guides  us  wrought!" 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

One  by  one,  and  two  by  two 

Swiftly  they  came  there; 
meanwhile  the  silkworms 

fashioned  another 
veil  to  make  it  just  that 
if  anyone  should  desire 
to  carry  one  away, 
he  should  leave  the  other 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 

Therefore  Don  Alfonso,  the  King 

in  his  own  chapel 
keeps,  according  as  I  hear, 

the  most  beautiful  veil, 
and  that  he  has  it  brought  out 
in  festivals  to  uproot  heresy 
from  those  who  doubting  the  Virgin 
go  in  their  great  folly. 
In  order  to  remove  us  .  .  . 


308  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

PERO  MEOGO  [Peter  the  Monk] 

Tell  Me,  Daughter,  Pretty  Daughter 

Digades,  filla  mina,  filla  belida 

Tell  me,  daughter,  pretty  daughter, 
Why  did  you  tarry  by  the  spring? 
"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 

Tell  me,  daughter,  lovely  daughter, 
Why  did  you  tarry  by  the  stream? 
"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 

Mother,  I  tarried  by  the  spring 
To  see  the  stags  at  dawn; 

"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 

Mother,  I  tarried  by  the  stream, 
To  see  them  drink  at  dawn; 
"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 

You're  lying,  daughter,  you  lie  for  a  friend, 
I  never  saw  stags  at  the  spring; 
"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 

You're  lying,  daughter,  you  lie  for  some  boy 
I  never  saw  stags  at  the  stream; 
"Mother,  I'm  in  love!" 


Pero  Meogo  309 

In  the  Green  Grass 

En  as  verdes  ervas 

In  the  green  grass 
I  saw  the  prancing  does 
My  lover. 

In  the  green  lea 

I  saw  the  angry  stags  i 

My  lover.  .     '; 

And  with  the  scent  of  does  i 

I  sat  and  washed  my  braids 
My  lover. 

And  with  the  scent  of  stags  I 

I  sat  and  washed  my  hair 
My  lover. 

As  soon  as  it  was  washed 
I  bound  it  up  in  gold 
My  lover. 

I  bound  it  up  in  gold 

And  waited  for  you  there,  Vi 

Mv  lover. 

In  gold  I  bound  it  up 
And  waited  for  you  there 
My  lover. 



310  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

My  Friend  Is  Going,  Mother 
Tal  vat  o  men  amigo 

My  friend  is  going,  mother, 
With  love  I  gave,  and  he 
Goes  wounded  like  a  hart 
From  huntsmen  of  the  king. 

My  lover's  going,  mother, 
My  love  he  takes,  and  he 
Goes  wounded  like  the  stag 
The  huntsman  shot  for  me. 

And  if  my  love  goes  wounded 
He'll  go  to  die  at  sea; 
My  friend  will  board  a  ship 
And  drown  himself  at  sea. 

Watch  yourself,  my  daughter, 
For  such  I'll  never  see; 
He  makes  himself  look  woeful 
To  win  his  cause  with  me. 

And  watch  yourself,  my  daughter, 
For  such  I'll  never  see; 
He  makes  himself  look  woeful 
"  *  To  win  his  way  with  me. 



Hair,  My  Pretty  Hair 
Cabelos,  los  mens  cabelos 

Hair,  my  pretty  hair, 
The  king  sent  for  it  to  me: 

Joan  Zorro  311 

Mother,  what  shall  I  do? 
Daughter,  give  it  to  the  king! 

Tresses,  my  pretty  tresses, 
The  king  sent  for  them  to  me: 
Mother,  what  shall  I  do? 
Daughter,  give  them  to  the  king! 


In  Lisbon  by  the  Sea 
En  Lixboa,  sobre  lo  mar 

In  Lisbon  by  the  sea 
New  ships  I  ordered  built 
Alas,  my  pretty  lady! 

In  Lisbon  by  the  shore 
New  ships  I  ordered  made 
Alas,  my  pretty  lady! 

New  ships  I  ordered  built 
And  ordered  them  to  sea 

Alas,  my  pretty  lady! 

New  ships  I  ordered  made 
And  ordered  them  away 

Alas,  my  pretty  lady! 



Along  the  River  Shore 
Per  ribeira  do  rio 

Along  the  river  shore 
I  saw  them  tip  the  oar 
And  loved  the  river  more! 

312  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Upstream  along  the  shore 
I  saw  them  speed  the  oar 
And  loved  the  river  more! 

I  saw  them  tip  the  oar 
To  reach  my  friend  afar 
And  loved  the  river  more! 

I  saw  them  speed  the  oar 
To  reach  my  love  afar 
And  loved  the  river  more! 

To  reach  my  friend  afar: 
I  longed  for  him,  ashore, 
And  loved  the  river  more! 

To  reach  my  love  afar: 
I  yearned  for  him,  ashore, 
And  loved  the  river  more! 


Let's  Dance,  Let's  Dance,  Us  Pretties 

Bailemos  nos  xa  todas,  ay  amigas 

Let's  dance,  let's  dance,  us  pretties, 
Under  the  blossoming  trees 
And  the  prettiest  pretty  her  love  will  prance 
Under  the  nut  trees,  and  see  him  dance.  ,- 

Let's  dance,  let's  dance,  us  lovelies, 
Under  the  crimsoning  trees, 
And  the  loveliest  lovely  her  friend  will  prance 
Under  the  nut  trees,  and  see  him  dance. 


Martin  Codax  313 


O  Waves  of  the  Sea  of  Vigo 
Ondas  do  mar  de  Vigo 

O  waves  of  the  sea  of  Vigo, 
Have  you  seen  my  friend? 
Ah  Lord,  let  him  come  soon! 

O  waves  of  the  rolling  sea, 
Have  you  seen  my  love? 
Ah  Lord,  let  him  come  soon! 

If  you've  seen  my  friend, 

The  one  I  sigh  for, 

Ah  Lord,  let  him  come  soon! 

If  you've  seen  my  love, 

The  one  I  burn  for, 

Ah  Lord,  let  him  come  soon! 


Ah,  Waves,  I  Come  to  See 
Ai  ondas  que  en  vin  veer 

Ah,  waves,  I  come  to  see 
If  you  could  only  say 
Why  my  love  delays 
without  me! 

Ah,  waves,  I  come  to  say 
If  you  could  only  see 

314  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Why  my  love  delays 
without  me! 



They  Have  Told  Me  Some  News 
Diseron  mi  hunhas  novas 

They  have  told  me  some  news  that  I  am  glad  to  hear: 

my  lover  has  arrived,  and  if  he  comes  there, 

to  the  shrine  of  Santa  Maria  das  Leiras 

I  shall  go,  in  my  beauty,  if  my  lover  comes  there. 

They  have  told  me  some  news  which  gives  me  great  joy, 

my  lover  has  arrived,  and  if  he  goes  there, 

to  the  shrine  of  Santa  Maria  das  Leiras 

I  shall  go,  in  my  beauty,  if  my  lover  comes  there. 

They  have  told  me  some  news  which  greatly  pleases  me, 

my  lover  has  arrived,  but  I,  in  order  to  see  him, 

to  the  shrine  of  Santa  Maria  das  Leiras 

shall  go,  in  my  beauty,  if  my  lover  comes  there. 

Never  was  a  woman  so  happy  with  such  news, 
as  I  alone  am  with  this,  and  if  he  comes  there, 
to  the  shrine  of  Santa  Maria  das  Leiras 
I  shall  go,  in  my  beauty,  if  my  lover  comes  there. 



When  I  See  the  Waves 
Cand'eu  vexo  las  ondas 

When  I  see  the  waves 
And  rocky  shores 

Joan  de  Guilhade  315 

My  heart  sends  waves 
To  her  ashore : 

Curst  be  the  sea 

So  cruel  to  me! 

When  I  see  the  waves 
And  hills  depart 
The  waves  rise  up 
And  drown  my  heart: 

Curst  be  the  sea 

So  cruel  to  me! 



For  Mr.  X  I've  Only  Mischief 
A  don  Foam  quer'eu  gra  mal 

For  Mr.  X  I've  only  mischief; 
For  his  wife,  I've  only  love. 
We  three  have  lasted  through 
The  years,  as  such  things  do. 
For,  ever  since  I  saw  her 
His  wife  I've  always  served 
,  And  sought  what  he  deserved. 

Here's  what  I'd  like  to  show: 
(It  will  hurt  someone,  I  know, 
Who'll  die,  in  any  case) 
So  I'll  talk  about  Mr.  Bad 
And  the  goodness  his  Mrs.  had 
Which  has  no  peer,  I  know: 
Here's  what  I'd  like  to  show. 

In  wisdom  and  good  looks 
And  courteous  remarks 
No  woman  (this  I'll  swear) 

316  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Could  match  her  or  compare. 
She'd  charm  Our  Lord  Himself 
(He'd  charm  the  Devil  more) 
With  charming,  dev'lish  talk. 

And  since  they  both  are  such, 

I've  taken  them  to  heart: 

Let  Him  Who  Watches,  judge! 


Alas,  Ugly  Lady,  You  Complained 
Ai,  dona  fea,  foste-vos  queixar 

Alas,  ugly  lady,  you  complained 
My  verses  never  sang  your  praise 
But  now  I  will  compose  a  song 
And  laud  you  all  the  same. 
You'll  see  it's  meant  for  you: 
Ugly  lady,  nasty  old  shrew! 

Alas,  ugly  lady,  I'll  not  say 
You've  taken  fame  to  heart: 
And  so  these  lines  proclaim 
And  laud  you  all  the  same. 
You'll  see  they're  meant  for  you : 
Ugly  lady,  nasty  old  shrew! 

Ugly  lady,  I  never  praised 

Your  vice  in  verse,  though  much  I've  made 

But  now  I'll  make  a  song  of  praise 

And  laud  you  all  the  same: 

Ugly  lady,  nasty  old  shrew! 



Roiz  de  Castelo-Branco  317 

Friend,  I  Can't  Deny 

Amigo,  non  fosseu  negar 

Friend,  I  can't  deny 
I'm  all  aflame  with  love, 
For  I'm  at  my  wits'  end, 
And  witlessly  I'll  say: 

Those  green  eyes  I  see 

Are  tantalizing  me. 

But,  whoever  understands 
Whose  pretty  eyes  I  mean, 
That  someone  will  lament 
About  my  life,  and  grieve: 

Those  green  eyes  I  see 

Are  tantalizing  me. 

But  men  should  not  be  swayed 
Because  their  wits  are  weak 
And  witless  in  their  sorrow 
Let  their  sorrow  speak : 

Those  green  eyes  I  see 

Are  tantalizing  me. 



Song  of  Parting 
Cantiga,  fartindo-se 

Milady,  by  departure 

My  eyes  you  so  bedim 

That  ne'er  you've  seen  such  sorrow 

For  man  or  maid  or  whim. 

So  sorrowful,  so  mournful, 
So  dolorous  my  eyes 

318  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

So  weary,  and  so  tearful, 
I  long  for  death  and  prize 
This  life  as  but  a  whim. 
My  sorrows  part  so  sorrowed 
So  scarce  my  hope  and  slim, 
That  ne'er  you've  seen  such  sorrow 
For  man  or  maid  or  whim. 



O  Flowers,  O  Flowering  Green  Pine 
Ai  flores,  ai  flores  do  verde  fto 

O  flowers,  o  flowering  green  pine, 
What  news  of  my  sweet  friend? 
O  Lord,  and  where? 

O  flowers,  o  flowering  green  boughs, 
What  news  of  my  sweet  love? 
O  Lord,  and  where? 

What  news  of  my  sweet  friend, 
Who  lied  to  make  me  bend? 
O  Lord,  and  where? 

What  news  of  my  sweet  love, 
Who  lied  of  what  he  swore? 

0  Lord,  and  where? 

"You  ask  for  your  sweet  friend; 

1  say  he's  live  and  sound." 

0  Lord,  and  where? 

"You  ask  for  your  sweet  love; 

1  say  he's  live  and  sound." 
O  Lord,  and  where? 

King  Dinis  3^9 

"I  say  he's  sound  and  live 
And  yours  before  his  time." 
O  Lord,  and  where? 

"I  say  he's  live  and  sound 
And  yours  before  he  grounds." 
O  Lord,  and  where? 



A  Shepherdess  Well  Made 
Ua  pastor  hen  talhada 

A  shepherdess  well  made 

Was  longing  for  her  friend 

And  was,  I  will  relate, 

From  what  I  saw,  irate, 

And  said,  'There's  nothing  more 

To  trust  a  lover  for; 

A  girl  in  love  should  scoff 

For  mine,  oh  mine,  ran  off." 

On  her  hand  there  perched 

A  parrot,  with  a  glimmer 

Of  mischief  in  his  song, 

For  it  was  nearly  summer. 

And  said,  "Sweet  friend,  explain 

What  shall  I  do  for  love 

Now  that  you've  strayed  in  vain 

And  fallen  in  the  flowers?" 

A  great  part  of  the  day 
She  sported  there,  relying 
At  times  on  old  regrets 

^And  sometimes  merely  sighing 
And  said,  "Ah  Good  Saint  Mary, 
How  shall  I  manage  now?" 

320  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

And  then  the  parrot  cackled, 
"Well  enough,  I  vow!" 

"If  you  would  grant  a  boon, 

Oh  lover,  please  be  true, 

Be  charitable,  too, 

For  life  is  death  enough." 

And  the  bird  said,  "Dearest  lady 

Don't  weep,  but  lend  an  ear 

For  him  who  served  you  once, 

Look  up,  you'll  see  him  here!" 



Provencals  Right  Well  May  Versify 
Proengaes  soen  mui  ben  trobar 

Provencals  right  well  may  versify 

And  say  they  do  with  love 

But  those  with  verse  in  flower  time 

And  never  else,  I'd  vow, 

Their  heart  is  not  in  torment 

As  mine  is  for  my  lady. 

Although  they're  bound  to  versify 

And  praise  as  best  they  can, 

Nonetheless,  I'd  vow 

That  those  with  verse  in  spring 

And  never  else,  will  bring 

No  grief  as  deep  as  mine. 

For  those  who  versify  with  joy 
About  the  verdant  time, 
The  flowers  do  their  bidding, 
In  spring,  but  soon  decline, 

Macias  O  N  amor  ado  321 

Nor  is  their  life  perdition 
Nor  death  in  life,  like  mine. 


John  Bolo's  Acting  Grim 
•    Joam  Bol'and  mal  desharatado 

John  Bolo's  acting  grim 

And  sad  and  very  cross 

For  though  he's  gained,  he's  lost 

All  his  mother  left  him: 

His  servant,  who's  no  fool, 

Stole  his  nag  and  left  his  mule. 

If  the  knave  who  stole  his  mule 
Had  left  John  Bol'  his  nag, 
John  wouldn't  wring  his  hands 
Or  think  it  was  so  cruel : 
But  his  servant,  who's  no  fool, 
Stole  his  nag  and  left  his  mule. 

If  the  knave  who  stole  his  nag 
Had  carried  off  his  mule, 
John,  though  I'm  sure  he'd  bleat, 
Wouldn't  whimper  in  the  street. 
But  the  knave,  when  treated  cruel, 
Stole  his  nag  and  left  his  mule. 



I  Went  in  Quest  of  Measure 
Provei  de  buscar  mesura 

I  went  in  quest  of  measure 
Where  measure  could  but  fail, 

322  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

And  lacking  in  good  fortune 
Was  judged  by  folly's  rule; 
And  so  I  tell  you  frankly, 
Beset  by  growing  pain, 
A  verse,  with  this  refrain: 

The  heart  I  had 

Has  reason  to  be  sad. 

Mine  eyes  have  seen  such  beauty 

I'll  perish,  and  for  sure 

My  heart  will  burst  with  sorrow 

So  great  that  love's  no  cure; 

Thus  I  would  advise  you, 

Don't  speak  to  me  of  joy, 

But  hear  my  verses  through : 

Well  may  God  maintain 

Great  pleasure  after  pain. 

Woefully  these  verses 

I've  sung  e'er  since  the  day 

I  went  in  quest  of  measure 

And  found  there  was  no  way. 

Measure  I  die  calling, 

Sighing  to  maintain 

A  verse,  with  this  refrain : 

My  dazzled  eyes  depart 
Struck  dead  by  you,  my  heart. 

For  I  did  not  find  measure 
Where  measure  seldom  failed 
But  willingly  took  pleasure 
And  all  that  it  entailed; 
And  so,  still  sad  and  grieving, 
I'll  sing,  and  e'er  maintain, 
A  verse,  with  this  refrain: 

Good  Lord,  please  bring 

Great  pleasure  after  pain. 


Gonzalo  de  Berceo  323 

Castilian  Poets 


Lament  of  the  Virgin 
Duelo  de  la  Virgen 

To  the  tomb  they  did  return  in  coats  of  mail  all  dressed, 
Saying  dirty,  foul  insults  till  all  were  sore  distressed, 
Inventing  at  that  moment  songs  in  cheap  and  vulgar  style, 
Playing  their  accompaniments  on  zither,  harp,  and  viol. 

Rhyming  songs  the  rascals  sang  as  they  continued  thither, 
Harsh  and  bitter  were  their  words  to  the  Virgin  Mother: 
"Oh  Jews,  let  us  keep  watch,  let  us  with  care  proceed, 
Lest  they  make  cruel  mock  of  us  both  in  word  and  deed." 


Keep  watch,  keep  watch,  keep  watch! 

Keep  watch,  O  Jews,  with  care  and  zeal 

Keep  watch! 
Lest  they  the  Son  of  God  do  steal. 

Keep  watch! 

Peter,  John,  and  Andrew  too, 

Keep  watch! 
Will  try  to  steal  Him,  woe  to  you. 

Keep  watch! 

Nor  rest  nor  peace  will  e'er  be  known, 
Keep  watch! 

324  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

To  come  out  from  beneath  the  stone, 
Keep  watch! 

They  are  all  as  little  thieves, 

Keep  watch! 
Who  like  to  peep  through  holes  of  keys. 

Keep  watch! 

Your  tongue  that  wags  so  loose  and  free, 

Keep  watch! 
Has  made  you  suffer  painfully. 

Keep  watch! 

They  are  all  vile  and  lowly  creatures, 

Keep  watch! 
Mixed  and  base,  with  mongrel  features. 

Keep  watch! 

Your  loose  tongue,  careless  and  unwise, 

Keep  watch! 
Has  put  you  in  this  troubled  guise. 

Keep  watch! 

Nor  guile  nor  tricks  can  you  envision, 

Keep  watch! 
To  put  you  forth  from  out  the  prision. 

Keep  watch! 

You  have  not  reason  nor  have  you  sense, 

Keep  watch! 
By  year's  end  to  get  you  hence 

Keep  watch! 

Thomas  and  then  Matthew  too, 

Keep  watch! 
Will  want  to  steal  Him,  to  your  rue. 

Keep  watch! 

He  was  betrayed  by  His  disciple, 
Keep  watch! 

Juan  Lorenzo  325 

But  understood  not,  not  one  trifle. 
Keep  watch! 

Philip,  Judas,  and  Simon  Peter, 

Keep  watch! 
Look  for  help  to  steal  their  leader, 

Keep  watch! 

If  they  wish  to  do  this  deed, 

Keep  watch! 
Today's  the  day  they  surely  need! 

Keep  watch! 

Keep  watch! 
Keep  watch,  keep  watch,  keep  watch! 

As  they  joked  and  boasted,  saying  foul  and  shameful  things, 
Full  villainous  and  unseemly,  their  insult  wounds  and  stings, 
Their  folly  grieved  the  King  of  Heaven 

and  made  his  heart  all  sore, 
At  the  malice  they  toward  Jesus  Christ 

and  His  companions  bore. 



From  The  Book  of  Alexander 
Libro  de  Alexandre 

Alexander,  that  good  magistrate  without  frontiers 
Had  a  thought  while  strolling  down  the  road: 
How  he  could  make  a  ladder  or  a  hill 
To  climb,  and  see  the  world  spread  out  below. 

He  caught  a  pair  of  griffons,  valiant  birds, 
And  had  them  fed  on  meats,  both  salt  and  fresh, 
Until  they  were  accustomed  to  the  taste 
And  eating,  grew  quite  fat  and  very  strong. 

326  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

He  planned  to  make  a  supple  leather  cape 
About  the  length  a  man  would  go,  stretched  out, 
And  tied  it  to  the  griffons  with  a  chain 
Like  one  a  heavy  man  could  never  break. 

He  took  the  meat,  well  skewered  on  a  spit, 
Stretched  it  far  before  his  griffons  twain, 
Who  lunged  at  it  and  strained  and  flapped  their  wings; 
They  thought  to  wolf  it  down,  but  they  could  not. 

As  they  rose,  Alexander  stood  erect 
And  kept  on  rising  up  into  the  sky 
Sometimes  higher,  sometimes  dipping  low, 
And  made  them  take  him  where  he  wished  to  go. 

He  raised  the  meat,  whene'er  he  wished  to  rise 
Or  lowered  it  whenever  he  did  not, 
And  where  the  griffons  saw  it,  they  were  sure  to  go, 
Nor  did  he  scold  them,  for  hunger's  hard  to  bear. 

So  far  did  Alexander  push  upward  toward  the  clouds 
That  hills  and  valleys  spread  out  for  him  below; 
The  rivers  plunged  down  deep  into  the  sea, 
But  just  how  deep,  he  never  could  conceive. 

He  saw  the  harbors  where  oceans  narrow  down; 
He  saw  great  perils  in  many  wondrous  spots; 
He  saw  great  galleys  crashing  on  the  rocks, 
And  others  enter  port,  and  take  their  meals. 

Thus  he  learned  of  Africa's  great  form 
And  where  effecting  entry  might  be  best; 
Then  suddenly  he  found  the  best  way  out, 
For  vast  the  journey  was,  and  hard  and  slow. 

It  takes  too  long  to  tell  you  all  he  saw; 
Half  a  day  would  hardly  be  enough; 
But  at  a  certain  time  he  came  to  know 
What  no  scholar  ever  thought  to  show. 


Anonymous  327 


Dispute  of  Elena  and  Maria 
Disfuta  de  Elena  y  Maria 

(Elena  extols  the  way  of  life  of  her  lover,  the 
Knight,  and  makes  fun  of  that  of  Maria's  lover, 
the  Clergyman.) 

To  the  palace  goes  my  lover, 
But  he's  not  starved  or  cold; 
He  goes  along  on  horseback 
Nobly  shod  and  clothed. 
Knights  seek  out  his  company, 
Squires  serve  his  wants, 
They  give  him  princely  wages 
And  render  him  accounts. 
When  visiting  the  palace, 
Spruced  up,  and  very  well, 
Along  with  arms  and  horses, 
His  squires  and  his  men, 
He  always  brings  his  goshawks, 
And  falcons,  purest  bred. 
When  hunting  by  the  river, 
He  makes  the  biggest  kill : 
Bitterns  and  bustards, 
And  other  birds  as  well. 
When  he  nears  the  palace, 
God!  how  good  he  looks! 
Goshawks  shriek, 
Horses  neigh, 
And  merrily  he  sings. 
He  honors  me  and  buys  me 
The  finest  shoes  and  clothes, 
Pretty  silks  and  satins, 
And  things  I  won't  disclose. 
Believe  me,  his  one  kiss 

328  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Outdoes  an  abbot's  five, 

Like  yours,  with  his  scrapy  beard, 

Always  bundled  in  his  cloak, 

His  head  and  chin  and  neck 

First  cousin  to  a  toad. 

But  what  your  lover  cares  for, 

Your  priestie's  great  concern, 

Is  counting  up  his  rosaries, 

And  getting  brats  to  learn: 

Battling  with  his  hands, 

To  baptize  godsons  live; 

Eating  food  and  spending, 
C  Sleeping  and  cavorting, 

v  Seducing  good  man's  daughters, 

Both  married  and  engaged. 

If  he  can't  tell  right  from  wrong, 

A  man's  not  worth  a  drat: 

Mine  knows  which  is  which; 

He's  a  better  man  for  that! 



From  The  Book  of  True  Love 
[Libro  de  Buen  Amor] 

Encounter  of  the  Archpriest  with  Ferrand  Garcia 
De  lo  que  acontescio  at  Arcijpreste  con  Ferrand  Garcia 

I  swear  my  eyes  won't  see  the  light 
Now  their  Cross  is  lost  for  life. 
This  Lady  Cross,  the  baker's  wife, 
I  came  across,  all  set  to  browse  on, 
Like  any  other  Andalusian. 
I  thought  she'd  be  my  private  lane — 
She  was  Public  Highway  One. 
And  the  pains  I  took  to  get  her! 

Juan  Ruiz  329 

I  told  that  poacher,  "Now,  Garcia, 
Be  my  go-between  and  clear 
A  path  for  me — be  nice  and  tender.'' 
Yes,  he  said,  he'd  gladly  do  it, 
But  got  himself  set  up  and  rooted 
In  her  private  crossroad  bed. 
I  got  the  crusts  that  he  spat  out. 
He  got  all  the  softest  bread. 
•  Through  him  I  told  her  she  would  get 
Every  bit  of  my  best  wheat. 
But  he  charged  her  with  his  rabbit — 
That  dirty,  double  crossing  cheat! 
God  cripple  all  these  go  betweens, 
These  lowdown  leaping  rabbiteers! 


Don  Pitas  Payas 
Don  Pitas  Payas 

A  man  once  left  his  wife — I'll  tell  you  all  about  it — 

And  if  the  tale's  no  good,  then  tell  me  one  to  match  it. 

His  name  was  Pitas  Payas,  a  lusty  Breton  painter 

Who  married  a  young  wife,  who  liked  her  man  to  romp  her. 

Before  one  month  was  up,  he  told  her,  "Wife, 
I'm  off  to  Flanders,  I'll  bring  you  lots  of  presents." 
"My  lord,"  she  cried,  "Godspeed, 
But  don't  forget  my  person." 

"Mistress  of  beauty,"  Sir  Payas  said, 

"On  your  body  I  long  to  paint 

A  figure  to  curb  more  folly:" 

She  answered,  "My  lord,  then  paint  it  on  my  belly." 

Under  her  navel  he  made  a  lamb 

And  then  flew  off,  as  cocky  as  a  merchant 

33°  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

To  spend  two  years — and  not  by  chance — 
Each  month  she  thought  a  year  had  passed. 

She'd  only  just  been  married 
And  not  dwelt  long  with  him: 
A  willing  friend  took  over 
And  wore  away  her  lamb. 

When  she  heard  her  spouse  was  coming 
She  ran  to  tell  her  friend 
And  said,  "Please  paint,  as  best  you  can, 
Another  lamb  right  here." 

But  in  his  rush,  he  made  a  ram 
With  horns  and  whatsis  sprouting 
For  just  that  day,  a  herald  told 
Of  Pitas  Payas'  coming. 

When  he  finally  came  from  Flanders 
His  wife  gave  scornful  welcome 
And  when  the  two  were  snug  in  bed 
He  asked  to  see  his  token. 

"Forgive  me,  wife/'  Pitas  Payas  said, 
"Let's  strip  and  see  our  token." 
"Husband,"  she  said,  "go  look  for  yourself, 
Now  do  your  will;  be  bold!" 

He  looked  at  the  accustomed  place 
And  saw  the  ram  with  horns. 
"Wife,"  he  said,  "can  you  tell  me  this, 
How  I  made  a  lamb  and  find  this  dish?" 

As  women  in  all  such  arguments 

Are  always  smooth  and  clever,  she  said : 

"What,  husband,  two  years,  and  can't  a  lamb  grow? 

If  you  hadn't  delayed,  the  horns  wouldn't  show!" 

So  watch  your  step,  don't  leave  the  goods, 
Don't  be  Pitas  Payas,  and  force  your  wife  to  look: 

Juan  Ruiz  331 

With  pretty  speeches,  praise  her  all  the  way, 
And  when  she's  yours,  be  sure  you  never  stray. 



Hill  Song  [Near  Tablada] 
Cantica  de  serrana  [Cerca  la  Tablada] 

Near  Tablada 
Past  the  crest 
I  met  Aldara 
Close  to  dawn. 

Atop  the  pass 
I  thought  I'd  die 
Of  snow  and  cold 
And  frosty  dew. 

Down  the  slope 
I  made  a  turn 
And  met  a  hill  girl 
Buxom  red. 

"I  bow,  my  pretty," 
"Just  don't,"  she  said, 
"Keep  on  running 
And  go  your  way." 

I  said,  "My  beauty, 
I'm  cold  as  sin. 
Please,  for  measure, 
Take  me  in." 

She  thought  it  over: 
"Friend,"  she  said, 
"It's  either  marriage, 
Or  pay  the  bride." 

332.  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

I  told  her,  "Gladly, 
But  I've  been  wed 
Here  in  Herreros: 
I'll  pay,  beloved." 

She  said,  "Gee  haw," 
So  off  we  sped 
And  lit  the  candle 
As  hill  folk  do. 

She  gave  me  rye  bread 
Black  with  soot 
Stale,  thin  wine 
And  salted  meat. 

She  gave  me  goat  cheese 
"Hidalgo,"  she  said, 
"Open  the  satchel, 
There's  more  inside." 

She  said,  "Drink  up 
And  warm  your  gizzard, 
We  won't  be  home 
Till  round  the  bend. 

"Who  gives  good  gifts 
Gets  what  he  likes: 
Free  bed  and  supper 
And  more,  besides." 

"Now  tell  me,"  said  I, 
"Just  what's  the  price?" 
Said  she,  "I'm  thinking — 
Will  you  be  nice? 

"Well,  give  me  a  ribbon 
Dyed  bright  red — 
A  fancy  tunic 
With  high  frilled  edge. 

Juan  Ruiz  333 

"Give  me  a  string 
Of  bright  tin  beads, 
A  sparkling  jewel 
And  furs  I  need. 

"Give  me  a  kerchief 
With  skirtsy  stripes, 
A  pair  of  heels 
And  all  one  piece. 

'With  jewels  like  that 
I'll  serve  you  well : 
You'll  be  my  husband, 
And  I,  your  girl." 

"Milady  hill  girl, 
I  left  'em  home, 
But  here's  a  pledge 
For  round  the  turn." 

Miss  Ugly  told  me: 
"No  cash,  no  trade. 
I  give  no  credit 
Till  I've  been  paid. 

"No  cash,  no  credit, 
No  fun  for  free : 
Who  gives  no  treasure 
Gets  none  from  me. 

"Honor  never  foots  the  bill, 
Cash  takes  care  of 
What  men  will: 
Proof's  not  wanting, 
That's  for  sure." 



334  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Easter  Day 

De  como  clerigos  e  legos  e  flayres  e  monjas  e  duenas  e 

joglares  salieron  a  recebir  a  don  Amor 

This  is  a  holy,  festive  Easter  day, 
The  happy  sun  has  leaped  with  brightest  ray, 
And  all  created  things  join  bird  and  flower 
To  welcome  Love  in  His  triumphant  hour. 

The  swelling  choirs  against  the  darkness  fling 
Their  sweetest  song  and  merry  choraling; 
Parrot  and  jay  and  lark  and  nightingale — 
Both  great  and  small,  their  risen  Love  they  hail. 

The  branches  of  the  woods  with  buds  are  bent, 
Bursting  with  living  hues,  with  odors  blent, 
And  all  men  lift  their  hearts  in  harmony 
To  greet  their  Love,  praising  orchestrally. 



Of  the  Characteristics  of  Small  Women 
De  las  propiedades  que  las  duenas  chicas  han 

I'd  like  to  cut  the  preaching  short, 
For  sermons  brief  are  best,  I've  thought, 
And  so  for  ladies  as  for  speech 
What's  short  and  pithy  moves  us  each. 

A  babbler  is  a  laughing  stock;  a  laugher  often  cracks  his  crock 
Love  in  short  women  is  great,  not  small : 
Some  tall  women  few  short  can  top, 
But  tall  for  short's  a  lucky  swap. 

Cupid  told  me :  Praise  'em  short, 
Sing  their  glories,  and  report, 

Juan  Ruiz  335 

And  so  with  tongue  in  cheek  111  show 
They're  hot  as  fire,  cold  as  snow. 

They're  cold  outside  but  hot  in  love 
In  bed  a  comfort,  light  as  fluff, 
Around  the  house,  wise,  good,  and  gay, 
You'll  find  out  more,  so  pay  good  heed. 

The  zircon's  small,  but  what  a  gem! 
A  little  sugar's  succulent: 
In  little  women,  there  lies  great  love: 
Few  words  suffice  for  clever  men. 

Good  peppercorn's  exceeding  small 
But  more  than  nutmeg  spiced  and  warm: 
A  little  woman,  when  she's  in  love, 
Every  pleasure's  hers  to  give. 

As  roses  small  are  color  bright 
In  little  gold,  great  treasure; 
In  little  balsam,  great  perfume, 
Small  women's  love's  not  measured. 

As  little  rubies  sparkle  best 
With  goodness,  pride  and  virtue, 
So  women  small  are  prettiest 
Most  loving,  loyal,  and  graceful. 

Small's  the  lark  and  nightingale: 
No  larger  bird  sings  sweeter: 
A  little  woman's  tenderness 
Outsweets  all  flowers  and  sugar. 

The  oriole  and  popinjay 
Are  tiny,  but  sweet  shouters: 
A  little  woman  who's  in  love 
'S  a  prized  and  gifted  singer. 

With  little  women  naught  compares, 
She's  paradise  and  comfort, 

336  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Joy  and  solace,  pleasure  blessed, 
And  more  in  proof  than  greeting. 

I'll  always  take  small  for  big  or  great: 
To  flee  great  evil  I  deem  discreet; 
"Choose  the  lesser,"  says  the  sage,1 
And  so,  in  women,  least  is  best. 



From  Moral  Proverbs 

Some  I've  Seen  So  Crudely 
Unos  vi  con  locura 

Some  I've  seen  so  crudely 
Building  up  large  sums, 
While  others  go  so  shrewdly 
Losing  all  they  won. 


There's  No  Day  without  Night 
Non  ay  syn  noche  dia 

There's  no  day  without  night, 
Nor  without  heat,  cold's  bite; 
Sowing  first,  reaping  after, 
Without  weeping  there's  no  laughter. 


1  Aristotle 

Hurtado  de  Mendoza  337 

There's  No  Finer  Treasure 
Non  ay  buen  thesoro 

There's  no  finer  treasure 
Than  doing  right, 
Or  sweeter  pleasure, 
Or  coin  so  bright. 



Whether  Long  or  Sparing 
Quier  larga,  quier  escasa 

Whether  long  or  sparing, 
Speech  is  like 
A  passing  shadow 
That  leaves  no  trail. 
There  is  no  lance 
That  pierces  every  armor, 
Nor  aught  that  transfixes 
Like  what  is  written. 
The  flying  arrow 
Hits  the  mark, 
And  letters  hark 
From  Burgos  unto  Egypt. 



That  Tree  with  Its  Leaves  Atremble 
A  aquel  drbol  que  mueve  la  foxa 

That  tree  with  its  leaves  atremble: 
It  is  possessed  of  something. 

338  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

That  tree  so  lovely  to  look  at 
Seems  as  though  it  would  bud  now: 
It  is  possessed  of  something. 

That  tree  so  lovely  to  behold 
Seems  as  though  it  were  a  flower: 
It  is  possessed  of  something. 

Seems  as  though  it  would  bloom  now: 

They  can  be  seen  already;  come  out  and  watch  them: 

It  is  possessed  of  something. 

Seems  as  though  it  would  flower: 

They  can  be  seen  already;  come  out  and  look: 

It  is  possessed  of  something. 

They  can  be  seen  already:  come  out  and  behold  them. 
Let  the  ladies  come  cut  down  the  fruit: 
It  is  possessed  of  something. 



By  God,  My  Lords,  Let  us  Lift  the  Veil 
Por  Dios,  senores,  quitemos  el  veto 

By  God,  my  lords,  let  us  lift  the  veil 
That  clouds  and  blinds  our  view: 
Let  us  gaze  on  death,  which  rules  the  world 
Dashing  high  and  low  aground: 
Our  moans  transpierce  the  skies 
To  God,  as  we  seek  pardon 
For  sins  of  every  age : 
Childhood,  youth,  decay. 

For  life  is  not  what  we  have  lived 
For,  living,  we  grow  closer 

inchez  Calavera  339 

o  cruel,  elusive  death;  and  when 

Ve  live  our  life  the  most,  we  waken,  finding  death. 

lost  certain  is  the  time  of  birth 

ess  certain,  when  we  die; 

ife's  certainty  lasts  not  an  hour; 

^ith  grief  we  come,  with  grief  we  go. 

What  became  of  emperors 
Jreat  prelates,  popes,  and  kings? 
)ukes  and  counts  and  gentle  knights, 
ach  men,  strong,  and  wise? 
low  many  righteous  lovers  served 
iverywhere  bearing  arms 
aid  how  many  skilled  in  learned  arts: 
)octors,  troubadors,  and  bards? 

Sons  and  fathers,  cherished  kin, 
riends  we  dearly  loved: 
Ve  ate  and  drank  and  romped  with  them, 
'air  and  gracious,  all! 
)uennas,  girls,  and  valiant  youth, 
Vho  brawl  about  below, 
Ind  some,  who  just  the  other  day 
Vere  present  here  above. 

The  Duke  of  Cabra  and  the  Admiral 
tad  great  men  of  Castile: 
^ow  Ruy  Diaz,  whose  standing 
Vas  so  high,  his  praises  ran 
<rom  Spain  unto  the  Orient 
linging  out  in  feats  of  excellence 
Jo  great,  he  dazed  the  court 
Vith  his  kind  and  noble  mien? 

Of  those  that  I  have  mentioned 
>ome  are  ash  and  dust 
Others,  bone  and  putrefaction 
..eft  scattered  to  the  dogs. 
Dthers  are  broken  skeletons 

34°  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Heads  without  hands  or  feet; 
Others  make  good  meals  for  worms 
Others  are  first  interred. 

Now  where  are  the  kings  and  emperors 
The  rulers,  rents,  and  lords? 
Where  are  the  pride  and  arrogance, 
The  courage  and  reports? 
Where  are  the  ventures,  where  the  deeds? 
Where  are  the  crafts,  and  learned  skills? 
Where  are  the  masters  of  poetry, 
Where,  the  rhymesters  of  mastery, 
Where  the  songs,  and  tambourines? 

Where  are  treasures,  serfs,  and  vassals, 
The  brooches  and  precious  stones? 
Where  are  the  pearls  and  costly  trimmings, 
The  musk  and  fragrant  oils? 

Where  are  the  golden  fabrics,  and  lustrous  chains, 
The  garters  and  the  necklaces, 
The  black  and  silver  furs, 
The  tinkling  timbrelines? 

Where  are  the  banquets,  feasts,  and  dinners, 
The  tournaments  and  jousts? 

WTiere  are  the  gaudy  dresses,  the  swayed  and  mincing  steps?: 
Where  is  the  art  of  dancers, 
Where  the  meals  and  the  repasts; 
WTiere  is  the  frankness  and  the  splurging, 
Where  the  pleasures  and  laughs; 
Where  are  the  minstrels  and  buffoons? 

I  believe  with  all  my  being 
That  now  the  time  is  come 
As  told  of  by  Isaiah : 
When  cities  shall  be  desolate 
With  the  stench  of  rotting  corpses 
When  noble  men  of  qualitv  shall  die 

Marques  de  Santillana  341 

With  mourners  at  their  gates, 
And  every  habitation  lie  in  ruins. 

Such  death  and  great  destruction 
Jeremiah  once  foretold: 
His  wrathful  eyes  repenting 
For  errant  ways  of  old. 
And  in  that  verse  and  chapter 
The  careful  reader  finds 
That  now,  indeed,  is  time. 

Thus  it  is  wisest  to  provide 
And  clothe  bare  souls  with  virtues : 
And  castigate  our  bodies, 
For  we  are  sure  of  loss. 
Who  ventures  to  advise  this 
Need  never  fail  for  death, 
But  shall  pass  from  death  to  triumph 
In  everlasting  life. 



Far  from  You  and  Close  to  Care 
Lejos  de  vos  y  cerca  de  cuidado 

Far  from  you  and  close  to  care 
Poor  in  pleasure  and  rich  in  sorrow, 
Deprived  of  rest  and  well  provided 
With  mortal  pain,  anguish  and  fury; 

Stripped  of  hope  and  cloaked  in 
Immense  affliction  and  vested  with  bitterness, 
My  life  escapes  me,  against  all  efforts, 
Death  pursues  me  without  ceasing. 

342  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Not  enough  to  satisfy  at  present 
The  burning  thirst  of  my  great  desire 
Is  Tagus;  nor,  to  succor  me,  I  think 

The  sickly  Guadiana : 

Only  Guadalquivir  has  power 

To  cure  me  and  that  only  I  desire. 


Mountain  Song  of  Finojosa 
Serranilla  de  la  Finojosa 

No  lovelier  lass  have  I  seen 
than  one  standing  on  the  green 
tending  her  cows 
at  Finojosa 

Making  my  way  from  Calatraveno  town 

to  Saint  Mary's 

by  sleep  led  astray 

and  mistaking  my  course 

through  scrubby  gorse 

I  saw  the  girl 

tending  her  cows 

at  Finojosa. 

Gay  was  the  meadow 

a-bloom  with  roses, 

and  there  she  stood 

among  all  the  others; 

yet  so  lovely  was  she 

that  she  simply  could  not  be 

just  tending  her  cows 

at  Finojosa. 

In  truth  I  could  not  sing 
in  any  way  proper 

de  Mena  343 

of  the  roses  of  spring 
had  I  not  first 
— to  be  quite  frank — 
laid  eyes  upon  the  girl 
who  tended  her  cows 
at  Finojosa. 

Yet  I  did  not  dare 
to  rest  my  gaze 
upon  such  beauty  rare 
and  so  lose  my  liberty. 
But  said  I:  "Fair  lady, 
(to  find  out  who  she  was) 
where  is  the  girl 
who  tends  her  cows 
at  Finojosa?" 

With  lips  in  curl  of  smile 
she  said:  "Welcome  be. 
But  it  takes  such  little  guile 
to  find  out  what  you're  after. 
She  needs  no  love, 
nor  thinks  thereof, 
that  girl  who  tends  the  cows 
at  Finojosa." 



Mourning  of  the  Mother  of  Lorenzo  Davalos 
Duelo  de  la  madre  de  Lorenzo  Davalos 

With  jagged  nails  she  tore  her  face 
And  rent  her  breasts  with  little  measure. 
She  kissed  her  son's  dead  lips  grown  cold 
And  cursed  the  hands  that  wrought  his  murder. 
She  cursed  the  war  and  its  beginning 
And  wrathfully  spewed  cruel  complaints 

344  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Denied  herself  her  due  reprisal 

And  close  to  living  death,  she  stopped. 

Weeping,  she  cried  with  rabid  tongue: 
"Oh  murderer  who  killed  my  son, 
Why  not  me,  instead  of  him? 
I  would  be  no  stubborn  victim 
And  death  would  be  a  worthy  thing. 
You  would  not  bear  so  steep  a  burden 
Or  show  yourself  so  cruel  to  him 
As  this  has  been  to  me." 

"If  his  mother  died  the  first, 
These  hands  would  close  my  eyes; 
My  son  would  tell  his  brothers 
I  died  a  single  time. 
Now  I  perish  wretched, 
And  suffer  for  his  wounds 
With  sad  unanswered  tears 
Though  wept  in  my  despair." 

Thus  the  pious  matron 
Lamented  her  dear  son 
And  hovered  by  his  body 
Like  a  lioness  with  cubs. 



Stanzas  on  the  Death  of  His  Father 
Co'plas  for  la  muerte  de  su  padre 

Let  the  drowsy  soul  awake! 

Let  the  mind  rise  quick  from  sleep 

To  think  of  this: 
How  the  living  meet  their  fate, 
How  we  feel  the  silent  feet 

Jorge  Manrique  345 

That  death  imprints; 
How  soon  we  see  our  pleasures  go, 
How  easily  they  are  recalled 

But  with  what  pain; 
Now,  as  it  seems,  we've  only  known 
A  past  far  better  when  it's  gone 

Than  present  days. 

Well :  if  we  look  about  the  world — 
Time  in  a  moment  lost  from  sight 

And  smuggled  away — 
If  we  can  look,  and  judge  things  well, 
We'll  count  all  past  and  future  times 

At  the  same  rate. 
Let  no  one  fool  himself,  not  here! 
Let  one  think  a  wished-for  thing 

Is  to  endure 
Longer  than  what  his  eyes  have  seen — 
For  all  things,  like  all  days,  go  in; 

All  doors  shut  to. 

These  lives  of  ours  are  living  streams 
But  all  the  streams  wind  to  the  sea 

And  the  sea  is  death. 
There,  the  great  estates  retreat, 
Moving  headlong  to  be  seized 

And  lost  to  earth; 
There,  the  most  imposing  floods, 
There,  the  undistinguished,  there 

The  puny  rills 
Become  obliviously  one: 
Hands  that  had  to  toil  and  scrape, 

And  hands  with  rings. 

Let  the  men  of  Troy  lie  by, 

For  what  have  our  eyes  seen  of  them, 

Their  glories  or  griefs? 
Let  the  men  of  Rome  sleep  quiet, 

346  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

For  all  the  exploits  that  invest 

Our  books  and  ears! 
What  have  we  to  do  with  those 
That  lived  in  days  long  gone,  their  cares 

Are  not  our  care! 
But  those  of  yesterday  we  know 
And  sing,  though  even  yesterday 

Evades,  and  fades. 

Where  have  they  gone,  the  King  Don  Juan, 
The  princes  and  the  sons  of  Aragon, 

Where  are  they  now? 
What  has  become  of  that  brilliant  band 
Of  knights,  where  are  their  stirring  thoughts 

Like  seed  on  the  ground? 
That  jousting  and  those  tournaments, 
The  array  and  the  embroidery, 

The  crests  of  arms — 
Did  we  just  dream  them  while  we  slept? 
Are  they  more  now  than  the  green  ear 

That's  dust  in  the  barn? 

What  has  become  of  the  ladies  there, 
The  coiffures  and  the  gowns  they  wore, 

The  scents  they  breathed? 
What  has  become  of  all  those  flames, 
Those  fires  the  lovers  struck  alone 

From  hearts  and  tears? 
Where  has  the  poetry  slipped  away, 
And  sweetness  of  musicians 

Drawn  from  the  strings? 
Where  is  the  dancing  or  the  air? 
Where  are  the  silks  and  elegance 

The  dancers  bring? 

And  then  the  next  in  line  to  the  throne, 
Don  Enrique,  what  powers  grew 

Between  his  hands! 
With  what  deceitful  soft  approach 

Jorge  Manrique  347 

The  world  and  its  delights  seduced 

That  happy  man! 
But  who  can  hide  how  the  world  bent 
Its  enmities  against  him,  cruel 

In  their  reversal — 
How  it  had  barely  been  his  friend 
When  all  it  gave  him  was  removed  and 

Proved  unperpetual! 

The  indiscriminate  largesse, 
The  kingly  edifices  crammed 

With  a  king's  gold, 
The  brightly  shining  banquet-sets, 
The  treasury  with  coins  like  sand 

On  a  golden  shore, 
The  horses  and  caparisons 
Of  all  his  folk,  and  such  a  flash 

Of  garb  and  arms : 
Where  shall  we  go  to  see  these  things? 
What  were  they  but  the  dews  that  star 

A  field  of  grass? 

There  is  one  man,  and  master  of  men, 
Rodrigo  Manrique,  whom  I'd  extol 

If  there  was  need; 
But  his  great  acts  are  known,  he's  blessed 
By  the  good  people  he  upholds, 

They  love  his  deeds, 
And  men  can  see  why  he  is  loved, 
His  courage,  his  audacity 

Blaze  out,  so  that 
I  have  no  wish  to  gild  a  sun 
Appearing  in  such  clarity 

Through  crystal  fact. 

What  a  friend  to  friends,  how  intimate! 
What  a  gendeman  to  kinsmen 
And  servants  alike! 

348  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

What  a  foe  he  was  to  foemen, 
What  an  example  to  his  own  men, 

Bold,  brisk  in  fight! 
What  wisdom  to  delight  the  thinker! 
What  elegance  to  meet  the  witty! 

What  reach  of  mind! 
With  what  a  mild  hand  he  commanded, 
Till  rebel  and  vainglorious  banners 

Unloosed  a  lion! 

It  was  no  mountain  of  treasure  he  left, 
It  was  no  glitter  of  riches  and  plate 

That  he  amassed; 
But  the  Moors  knew  the  armies  he  led, 
And  lost  the  fortresses  he  gained 

And  the  towns  he  attacked; 
And  those  were  battles  that  he  won 
Where  Moor  on  Moor  and  horse  on  horse 

Lay  dead  and  still, 
And  only  by  exploits  did  he  come 
Into  such  lands  and  servitors 

As  were  given  him. 

And  for  those  other  times  in  the  past, 
How  did  he  defend  his  name 

And  his  estate? 
Finding  himself  left  poor  in  arms, 
He  by  his  servants  and  brothers  saved 

What  he  maintained. 
After  the  famous  deeds  were  done 
In  this  war  that  engaged  his  sword 

As  I  have  said, 
His  treaties  were  so  honor-hung 
That  he  was  given  even  more 

Land  than  he  held. 

The  legends  that  he  painted  once 
By  his  main  strength  so  long  ago 

Jorge  Manrique  349 

When  he  was  young 
He  now  restored  in  age,  his  brush 
Tracing  new  victories  as  of  old, 

In  new  wars  won. 
And  so,  for  his  abilities 
And  great  renown,  and  good  old  age 

Harvested  home, 
He  was  granted  then  the  dignity 
Of  the  crown  of  knighthood,  the  great 

Order  of  the  Sword. 

And  when  he  saw  the  tyrants  come 
To  occupy  his  fields  and  homesteads 

He  rose  up 
And  by  his  arm  they  were  undone, 
By  sally  and  by  siege  he  forced  their 

Armies  to  turn. 
And  whether  all  the  deeds  he  did 
Were  deeds  that  dutifully  served 

Our  lawful  king, 
Let  him  of  Portugal  admit, 
Or  him  who  followed  at  his  death, 

Of  Castile's  kin. 

After  he  had  so  many  times 
Gambled  his  own  life-blood  to  keep 

Good  rule  in  force, 
After  he  had  with  single  mind 
Served  the  true  crown  he  so  revered, 

And  the  true  throne, 
After  all  the  adventurous  acts 
So  crowded  that  no  numbering  them 

Is  possible, 
There  came  to  his  town,  to  Ocana, 
Knocking  at  the  door  of  his  house,  Death 

To  call  on  him, 

Saying:  "O  admirable  knight, 
Leave  the  deceitful  world  to  those 

35°  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

It  flatters  yet; 
Let  your  heart  of  true  steel  shine 
With  all  the  fortitude  you've  known, 

In  this  distress; 
And  since  you  cared  so  little  once 
For  life  and  safety,  when  you  aimed 

At  glory  alone, 
Now  let  your  good  name  fear  no  hurt 
And  strongly  meet  the  insolent  pain 

Which  calls  you  to  go. 

'The  battle  you  expect  is  terrible? 
Reject  a  tempting  bitterness; 

You  stand  exposed: 
But  here,  remember,  you  have  left  to  us 
Your  second,  larger  life,  which  spreads 

Its  fame,  and  grows; 
And  though  this  life  of  honor  is 
No  more  eternal  than  the  first, 

Nor  yet  more  real, 
It  is  better  and  more  glorious 
Than  life  that  runs  through  dying  earth 

On  vanishing  heels. 

"The  truly  lasting  life  is  won 
Not  by  possessing  great  estates 

Here  in  the  world, 
Nor  by  brimming  a  joyous  cup 
In  which  the  sins  of  hell  can  dare 

The  unwary  to  err; 
But  rather  is  it  won  by  tears, 
By  prayers  that  the  good  monks  make 

To  bring  it  near, 
By  labors  and  by  difficulties 
Where  knights  attack  the  Moors  to  gain 

The  fame  they  seek. 

"And  since,  O  famous  fighter,  you 
Have  scattered  so  much  pagan  blood 

Jorge  Manrique  351 

Deep  in  the  ground, 
For  your  hope  a  reward  is  sure: 
You  with  your  own  hands  have  built  up 

Life  here  and  now; 
Let  this  become  your  confidence, 
And  let  the  faith  that  clothes  your  stride 

Complete  and  true 
Console  your  hopeful  parting  steps 
And  take  you  where  that  far  third  life 

At  last  is  yours." 

"Ah,  let  us  waste  then  no  more  time 
In  speaking  of  this  petty  stir 

Of  soil  and  air! 
For  my  will  with  the  will  divine 
In  every  element  concurs 

That  words  can  say, 
And  I  consent  to  dying  now 
With  a  will  that  breathes  in  joy, 

So  pure,  so  clear 
It  sees  the  madness  in  the  frown 
Of  dying  men  who  clutch  too  long 

What  God  has  seized. 

"You  who  took  degraded  form 
And  humble  name  to  save  the  souls 

Of  sick  mankind: 
You  whose  divinity  was  drawn 
To  bitter  unity  below 

The  stars,  with  life: 
You  who  were  willing  to  endure 
In  life  and  flesh  such  tortures  as 

Bad  men  could  mete: 
Not  for  my  merits,  only  yours, 
Only  through  your  grace,  I  ask: 

Lord,  pardon  me." 

So,  in  that  state  of  understanding, 
With  every  human  feeling  sharp 

352  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

In  consciousness, 
Surrounded  by  his  wife,  his  family 
Of  sons  and  brothers,  in  the  heart 

Of  his  serving-men, 
He  gave  his  soul  back  to  its  giver, 
And  may  that  giver  set  it  in 

A  glory  undimmed. 
It  is  true  that  his  life  is  finished. 
We  have  good  consolation  still, 

Remembering  him. 



The  Barbs  of  Mingo  Revulgo 
Las  coflas  de  Mingo  Revulgo 


Ah,  Mingo  Revulgo,  Mingo! 

Ah,  Mingo  Revulgo,  hallo! 

What's  happened  to  your  blue  tunic? 

Isn't  that  your  Sunday  best? 

And  what  of  your  scarlet  doublet? 

Why  do  you  look  all  but  pleased? 

After  a  sleepless  night, 

You  scowl  about,  unkempt; 

Why  don't  you  speak  out  loud? 


Your  face  is  sad  and  grieved, 
Your  body's  full  of  aches; 
You  cross  from  hill  to  valley 
Like  a  beast  that's  gone  astray. 
You  don't  watch  where  you're  going 
Straight  forward  or  straight  back 

Anonymous  353 

And  spreading  out  your  legs, 
You  make  great  sideward  strides 
Not  knowing  where  you  are  .  .  . 



By  my  faith,  Gil  Arribato, 

We  must  have  lost  our  minds 

When  we  let  old  Candaule1 

Be  shepherd  of  our  flock. 

He  struts  about  after  shepherd  boys2 

In  these  secluded  parts 

All  day  in  sheer  delight 

Playing  the  hare-brained  idler 

And  shrugging  at  our  ills. 


Look  now,  look  at  those  flocks3 
And  the  she-ass  with  the  hounds4 
How  they  wander  in  the  hills 
Lost,  and  gone  astray. 
By  all  the  saints,  I  swear 
That  big  pot-bellied  oaf 
(May  his  eyebrows  never  prosper!) 
Has  gone  off  without  his  sheep 
To  hide  behind  every  hedge. 

Yonder,  in  those  ravines, 
You'll  find  some  bleating  lambs 
Here,  a  few  dead  sheep 
That  fell  into  the  ditch. 
The  grass  has  all  been  grazed, 
Forbidden  fields  are  bare 
And  even  the  trees  in  town : 

1  A  vicious  and  extravagant  King  of  hydia,  mentioned  hy  Herodotus. 
2  Courtiers  and  favorites.  3  The  people. 

4  The  Church  and  the  clergy. 

354  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Such  havoc  in  Esparilla5 
Was  never  seen  by  living  men. 


May  a  wicked  poison  take  him 

And  shepherds  of  his  ilk 

Whose  horn  is  full  of  turpentine 

But  neglects  his  mangy  flock. 

He  sees  the  wolves  a-prowl 

He  hears  the  livestock  bleat 

But  only  bursts  out  laughing  when  he  does. 

And  so  he  never  ceases 

To  pray  his  shepherds'  pipes. 


The  hound  Justine6 

So  dauntless,  as  you  know, 

Grew  raw-boned  on  thin  air 

And  died.  I  swear  to  God,  you'd  pity  her 

With  her  courage  and  her  strength 

She  attacked  the  fiercest  lions 

And  could  kill  a  sly,  old  wolf. 

Now  a  sorry  rabbit 

Has  packed  her  in  a  corner. 



Of  course,  brother  Revulgo, 

You're  grieved  about  your  sins; 

If  you  do  no  good  works 

Another  ill  will  stare  you  in  the  face. 

For  if  you  had  confidence 

You'd  have  warm  land  for  grazing 

And  green  pastures  all  year  long. 

You'd  not  have  any  losses 

Of  harvests  or  of  sheep. 

r>  Spain.  6  Justice. 

\Anonymous  355 


But  you're  not  well-advised 
On  how  to  act  with  profit. 
You  stretch  flat  on  your  belly 
For  seven  hours,7  like  dead. 
Courage,  now,  be  confident  again, 
And  purify  your  conscience 
So  you  can  rise  again 
For,  if  you  don't,  death  just 
May  strike  you  down  by  chance. 


I  dreamt  this  very  night 
And  tremble  at  the  thought 
That  this  time  neither  beards 
Nor  beardless  would  be  spared. 
So  go  to  bed  and  sleep! 
For,  as  far  as  I  can  see, 
About  the  way  things  are, 
I  guess  the  three  mad  wolves8 
Will  hunt  throughout  the  land. 


I'm  sure  that  you've  seen  sallowness:9 

Always  out  of  breath, 

Declining,  lean,  and  sighing, 

And  pitiful  to  all; 

Who,  though  she  may  devour,  is  never  satisfied; 

With  her  fangs  she  never  ceases 

To  bite  and  dodge  and  nip; 

The  flock  will  not  be  long 

In  spreading  far  and  wide. 


The  other  scurvy  traitor10 
Cruel  and  fierce  to  fight 

7  Because  of  Seven  Deadly  Sins.         8  Hunger,  War  and  Plague. 
9  Hunger.  10  War. 

356  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Handmaid  of  every  evil 
And  born  a  thief 
Knows  farms  very  well 
And  leaves  no  mother  or  child 
Alive  in  their  smoky  hovels 
In  the  valleys  or  the  pens : 
She  knows  where  people  hide. 


And  even  the  three-pronged  one11 
Who  eats  up  little  lambs 
And  never  spares  the  yearlings 
When  she's  the  least  bit  peeved, 
I  fear  she  won't  forget 
To  come  and  divvy  up 
Her  portion  of  the  loot. 
Tell  me,  with  such  a  team 
Who  would  not  be  scared? 


I  think  it  less  harmful 
To  thread  the  middle  way 
For  high  or  low 
No  road  is  safe. 
Remember  now,  you  must 
Be  firm.  Don't  let  your  foot 
Slip  off  its  rightful  place 
For  many  woes  beset 
This  vale  of  tears. 



11  Plague. 

The  Cancionero  357 


[El  Cancionero] 

If  You  Go  to  Bathe,  Juanica 
Si  te  vas  a  banar  ]uanica 

If  you  go  to  bathe,  Juanica, 
tell  me  where  you  go. 
For  I,  Juanica  darling, 
admire  your  figure  so. 


Those  Mountains,  Mother 

Aquellas  sierras,  madre 

Those  mountains,  mother 
are  steep  to  climb, 
where  streams  rush  down 
to  fields  of  thyme. 

Those  mountains,  mother 
have  flowers  above : 
up  where  they  are, 
I  have  my  love. 


I  Refuse  to  Be  a  Nun 

No  quiero  ser  monja,  no 

I  refuse  to  be  a  nun, 

for  I'm  a  girl  who's  found  a  boy. 

;58  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Leave  me  with  my  pleasure, 
with  my  pleasure  and  my  joy, 
leave  me  with  my  stubborn  ways, 
for  I'm  a  girl  who's  found  a  boy. 


I  Will  Not  Pick  Verbena 
Que  no  cogere  verbena 

I  will  not  pick  verbena 
on  the  morrow  of  St.  John, 
for  my  lover  has  gone. 

I  will  not  pick  sunflowers, 
honeysuckle  or  carnations. 
Only  sorrows  will  I  pluck 
and  cruel  frustrations, 
for  my  lover  has  gone. 


Do  Not  Speak  to  Me,  Count 

No  me  hableis,  conde 

Do  not  speak  to  me,  count, 
of  love  in  the  street, 
for  my  mother  will  say 
you  are  indiscreet. 

Tomorrow  I'll  go,  sir, 
to  wash  at  the  stream. 
Then  I  promise,  sir  count, 
to  fulfill  your  dream. 

Do  not  speak  to  me,  count, 
of  love  in  the  street, 

The  Cancionero  359 

for  my  mother  will  say 
you  are  indiscreet. 


Hill  Song  of  La  Zarzuela 

Serranilla  de  La  Zarzuela 

I  was  going,  Mother,  to  Villa  Real, 

And  lost  my  way  where  it  was  wild. 

No  bread  had  I  for  seven  days, 

My  hawk  no  meat,  my  mule  no  grain. 

Between  La  Zarzuela  and  Darazutan, 

I  raised  my  eyes  up  toward  the  sun. 

I  saw  a  cabin,  and  there  was  smoke; 

I  spurred  my  mule,  and  then  rode  up. 

The  shepherd's  dogs  came  out  to  bark 

And  then  a  pretty  highland  girl 

Said,  "Stranger,  do  not  be  afraid, 

My  parents  now  have  gone  to  town, 

My  darling  Mingo's  gone  for  bread, 

We  11  have  two  days  before  they're  back. 

You'll  drink  this  milk  while  I  make  cheese, 

We'll  make  a  bed  beside  the  field, 

And  make  a  son,  and  call  him  Paul, 

He'll  be  a  bishop,  priest,  or  pope, 

Or  else  the  swineherd  of  Villa  Real; 

Well,  by  my  life,  you  must  find  this  a  joke!" 


Gentle  Knight/ Now  Give  Me  a  Kiss 
Gentil  caballero  /  dedesme  hora  un  beso 

Gentle  knight, 
Now  give  me  a  kiss, 

360  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Perhaps  for  trie  harm 
You've  done  me. 

The  knight  rode  on, 
He  rode  from  Seville: 
And  in  a  convent  garden, 
Picked  lemons, 
And  the  prioress 
Asked  for  pretty  favors : 
Perhaps  for  the  harm 
You've  done  me. 


To  Whom  Shall  I  Tell  My  Sorrows? 
I A  quien  contare  mis  que  j  as? 

To  whom  shall  I  tell  my  sorrows 

My  handsome  love, 
To  whom  shall  I  tell  my  sorrows 

If  not  to  you? 


I  Grew  Up  in  a  Village 

Crieme  en  aldea 

I  grew  up  in  a  village 

And  then  I  turned  nut-brown; 

I  would  have  been  more  beautiful 

If  I'd  grown  up  in  town. 


The  Romancero  361 

Out  of  Love 
For  amoves  lo  maldijo 

Out  of  love 

The  bad  mother 

Cursed  the  good  son. 

"I  wish  to  God  in  heaven 

and  his  mother,  good  Saint  Mary, 

that  you  were  not  my  son, 

so  I  could  be  your  mistress!" 

Thus  the  bad  mother 

Called,  and  cursed  the  good  son. 

Out  of  love,  she  cursed  him. 



The  Romancero  or  Book  of  Ballads 
[El  Romancero] 

Ballad  of  Juliana 

"Get  on,  you  hounds,  get  on, 

And  may  the  furies  take  you. 

Thursday  you  kill  the  boar 

And  eat  the  meat  on  Friday. 

'Today  makes  seven  years 

I've  wandered  in  these  hills. 

Now  both  my  feet  are  bare, 

Blood  spurts  from  my  toenails. 

"Now  I  drink  fresh  gore, 

The  meat  I  eat  is  raw, 

362  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

And  sadly  seek  Juliana, 

Who  was  the  emperor's  daughter. 

"Early  St.  John's  morning, 

While  she  gathered  flowers, 
The  Moors  took  her  away 

From  her  father's  bowers." 

Juliana  hears  this  said 

Wrapt  in  the  Moor's  embrace; 

Twin  tears  her  two  eyes  shed 

Fall  on  that  Moor's  face. 


Count  Arnaldos 
El  Conde  Arnaldos 

Who  can  tell  of  such  adventure  above  the  bounding  main 
As  befell  good  Count  Arnaldos,  the  morning  of  St.  John? 
He  readied  for  the  hunt,  with  a  falcon  in  his  hand 
And  saw  a  ship  approach,  veering  toward  the  land 
With  sails  of  purest  silk,  and  shrouds  of  finest  crepe 
And  at  the  helm  a  sailor,  who  made  the  winds  abate. 
He  sang  the  waves  to  sleep,  and  made  the  deep  fish  rise 
And  to  the  mast  birds  flocked,  and  perched  there 

in  surprise. 
Then  spoke  Count  Arnaldos,  then  he  spoke  at  last: 
"By  God,  I  beg  you,  sailor,  now  tell  me  of  your  song." 
Then  the  sailor  answered :  his  answer  was  not  long, 
"Only  those  who  travel  with  me  will  ever  know  my  song." 



The  Romancero  383 

Ballad  of  the  Fair  Melisenda 
La  linda  Melisenda 

The  people  all  were  sleeping 

All  in  God's  protection, 

But  the  emperor's  daughter 

Melisenda  was  awake. 

Her  love  for  Count  Airuelo 

Would  not  let  her  rest. 

She  leapt  naked  out  of  bed, 

Putting  on  a  smock 

When  she  could  not  find  a  skirt, 

And  went  across  the  halls 

Where  her  ladies  slept. 

Slapping  every  one, 

She  began  to  shout: 

"Arise,  if  you  are  sleeping, 

Maidens  mine,  arise,  arise. 

And  you  know  of  love, 

Give  me  some  advice. 

You  who  do  not  know  of  love, 

Spare  me  by  keeping  quiet. 

My  love  for  Count  Airuelo 

Will  not  let  me  rest." 

Up  spoke  an  old  woman, 

A  woman  ancient  of  days: 

"Now  is  the  time,  my  lady, 

To  enjoy  yourself, 

For  if  you  wait  till  you  are  old, 

No  young  man  will  want  you. 

I  learnt  this  as  a  girl, 

And  never  did  forget  it, 

From  the  days  when  I  was  raised 

In  your  father's  house." 

No  sooner  did  she  hear  this 

Than  Melisenda  heard  no  more; 

She  went  to  find  the  Count 

364  The  lOerian  Peninsula 

In  the  palace  where  he  was. 

She  ran  into  young  Hernando, 

Her  father's  constable. 

'What  is  all  this,  Melisenda? 

What  can  all  this  mean? 

You  are  either  lovesick 

Or  else  are  going  mad!" 

"No,  I  am  not  lovesick, 

For  no  one  do  I  grieve, 

But  when  I  was  a  child 

I  was  taken  very  ill, 

And  swore  to  say  novenas 

At  St.  John  Lateran's. 

There  the  ladies  go  by  day, 

And  at  night  we  maidens." 

When  Hernando  heard  this, 

He  spoke  no  further  word. 

The  princess  in  her  anger 

Sought  revenge  on  him. 

"Lend  me  now,  Hernando, 

Please  lend  me  your  dagger, 

For  I  am  very  frightened 

Of  the  dogs  that  roam  the  street." 

He  held  the  dagger  by  the  point, 

She  took  it  by  the  hilt 

And  gave  him  such  a  thrust  with  it 

He  fell  dead  upon  the  floor. 

She  went  on  to  the  palace 

Where  Count  Airuelo  was. 

She  found  the  doors  shut  down, 

And  not  knowing  how  to  enter, 

By  magic  opened  them  up  wide. 

When  he  heard  the  din  and  clatter, 

The  Count  began  to  shout: 

"Come  and  help  me,  knights, 

Help  me  without  delay; 

I  fear  my  enemies  are  here 

Who  come  to  murder  me." 

Discreetly  Melisenda 

The  Romancero  365 

Began  to  speak  to  him : 

"Do  not  be  alarmed,  sir; 

Do  not  be  surprised. 

I  am  but  a  Moorish  maiden 

Come  from  overseas." 

As  soon  as  he  had  heard  her, 

The  Count  knew  who  she  was. 

The  Count  drew  closer  to  her 

And  took  her  hands  in  his, 

And  in  a  laurel  shade 

They  played  the  Venus  game. 


The  Prisoner 
El  frisionero 

Ah,  for  the  month  of  May,  of  May, 
When  the  days  grow  warm, 
When  the  wheat-ear's  sprouting 
And  the  fields  with  flowers  swarm, 
When  to  the  song  of  the  skylark 
The  nightingale  replies, 
And  when  the  lovers  set  about 
To  wait  upon  their  brides; 
And  I,  poor  wretch,  disconsolate 
Behind  these  prison  walls, 
Know  neither  when  'tis  daytime 
Nor  when  nighttime  falls, 
Except  that  once  a  little  bird 
Would  sing  to  me  at  dawn. 
But  oh,  the  archer  shot  him — 
May  God  avenge  the  wrong! 



366  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Ballad  of  the  Cool  Fountain 
Fonte  Frida 

Fountain,  coolest  fountain, 

Cool  fountain  of  love, 

Where  all  the  sweet  birds  come 

For  comforting — but  one, 

A  widow  turtledove, 

Sadly  sorrowing. 

At  once  the  nightingale, 

That  wicked  bird,  came  by 

And  spoke  these  honied  words: 

"My  lady,  if  you  will, 

I  shall  be  your  slave." 

"You  are  my  enemy : 

Begone,  you  are  not  true! 

Green  boughs  no  longer  rest  me, 

Nor  any  budding  grove. 

Clear  springs,  when  there  are  such, 

Turn  muddy  at  my  touch. 

I  want  no  spouse  to  love 

Nor  any  children  either. 

I  forego  that  pleasure 

And  their  comfort  too. 

No,  leave  me :  you  are  false 

And  wicked — vile,  untrue! 

I'll  never  be  your  mistress! 

I'll  never  marry  you!" 




Abenamar,  Abenamar 
Moor  of  Moor's  delight 
The  hour  of  your  birth 

The  Romancero  367 

Comets  filled  the  night. 
The  sea  was  calm  as  glass 
The  moon  was  waxing  full 
A  Moor  with  stars  like  yours 
Must  never  break  the  spell. 
"I  tell  the  truth,  my  lord, 
Though  it  be  death  to  tell." 
"I  thank  you,  Abenamar, 
Your  birth  bespeaks  you  well. 
What  castles  are  those  shining 
High  on  yonder  hill?" 
"The  Alhambra  there,  my  lord, 
The  mosque  tower  further  still, 
And  there,  the  Alixares, 
Built  so  wondrous  well. 
A  Moor  was  paid  to  build  them 
A  hundred  crowns  a  day 
And  lost,  for  each  day  idle, 
As  much  as  he  was  paid. 
When  all  was  built  and  ready 
The  architect  was  slain 
So  he  could  build  no  others 
For  Andalusia's  reign. 
There  lies  Crimson  Towers 
A  castle  of  renown 
And  there,  the  Generalife, 
Of  matchless  garden  fame." 
Then  spoke  King  don  Juan, 
Mark  what  he  will  say: 
'With  your  consent,  Granada, 
I'd  marry  you  today; 
With  Cordoba  for  dowry, 
Sevilla  for  display." 
"I  am  a  wife,  King  John, 
No  widow,  but  a  wife, 
The  Moor  who  is  my  husband 
Loves  me  more  than  life." 


368  The  Iberian  Peninsula 


The  good  king  had  three  daughters, 

All  graceful  and  all  fair, 

The  youngest  was  Delgadina. 

"Now  come,  my  Delgadina, 

For  you  must  lie  with  me." 

"Neither  the  Lord  of  Heaven 

Nor  our  most  sovereign  Lady 

Wishes  that  I  should  lie 

With  the  father  who  begot  me." 

Her  father  in  his  anger 

Locked  her  into  a  room, 

With  nothing  for  her  hunger 

But  a  little  salted  meat, 

With  nothing  for  her  thirst 

But  the  drip  of  a  green  orange. 

When  it  was  morning  she  looked 

Out  of  a  high  window, 

Down  in  the  garden  her  mother 

Sat  in  a  golden  chair. 

"My  mother,  because  you  are 

My  mother,  bring  me  water, 

I  am  dying  of  thirst,  I  want 

To  give  up  my  soul  to  God." 

"Be  quiet,  bitch  of  a  daughter, 

Be  quiet,  you  are  to  blame 

That  for  seven  years  I  have  known 

The  shame  of  a  bad  marriage." 

On  the  next  morning  she  looked 

From  another  high  window, 

Down  in  the  yard  her  sisters 

Were  spinning  out  the  silk. 

"My  sisters,  because  you  are 

My  sisters,  bring  me  water, 

I  am  dying  of  thirst,  I  want 

The  Romancero  369 

To  give  up  my  soul  to  God." 

"If  only  we  had  a  knife 

We  would  throw  it  in  your  face/' 

On  the  next  morning  she  looked 

From  another  high  window, 

Down  in  the  court  her  brothers 

Were  practicing  with  their  spears. 

"My  brothers,  because  you  are 

My  brothers,  bring  me  water, 

I  am  dying  of  thirst,  I  want 

To  give  up  my  soul  to  God." 

"No,  Delgadina,  no, 

We  cannot  bring  you  water, 

For  if  vour  father  knew, 

Our  punishment  would  be  death." 

On  the  next  morning  she  looked 

From  another  window, 

Down  in  the  hall  her  father 

Was  pacing  to  and  fro. 

"My  father,  because  you  are 

My  father,  bring  me  water, 

I  am  dying  of  thirst,  I  want 

To  give  up  my  soul  to  God." 

"Yes,  I  will  bring  you  water 

If  you  will  do  as  I  wish." 

"Yes,  I  will  do  as  you  wish." 

"Now  run,  my  pageboys,  run, 

Bring  water  to  Delgadina: 

The  first  of  you  to  arrive 

Shall  have  her  hand  in  marriage, 

The  last  to  arrive  shall  die." 

Some  ran  with  silver  pitchers, 

Some  with  pitchers  of  gold, 

While  the  church  bells  were  ringing 

For  Delgadina's  soul. 

Wben  the  first  page  arrived, 

He  found  that  she  was  dead, 

Around  her  bed  a  ring 

Of  blessed  angels  stood, 

37°  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

The  bed  of  the  king  her  father 
Was  crowned  with  a  ring  of  fiends. 


Moriana's  Poison 
El  veneno  de  Moriana 

At  daybreak  Don  Alonso  rises  with  the  sun 

To  call  on  friends  and  neighbors  each  and  every  one. 

At  Moriana's  gate  he  hitches  up  his  roan. 

''Good  tidings,  Moriana."  "Alonso,  welcome  home!" 

"Moriana,  drink  a  toast — my  wedding's  Sunday  noon." 

"By  rights  the  bride,  Alonso,  is  me,  and  me  alone. 

But  I'm  not  one  for  grudges  and  so  I'll  surely  come, 

But  first,  to  prove  my  friendship  a  glass  of  wine  you'll  down." 

Moriana,  sly  and  crafty,  goes  inside  her  room 

To  find  her  rod  and  pestle  and  grind  the  seeds  of  doom. 

Three  corrosive  sublimates,  blood  from  four  black  toads, 

Viper  eyes  and  scorpion  stings,  she  mixes,  stirs,  and  pours. 

"Drink  this  down,  Alonso.  Drink  the  good,  fresh  wine." 

"Drink  first,  Moriana,  or  else  I  must  decline." 

Moriana  lifts  the  goblet  and  purses  tight  her  lips: 

Her  teeth  are  close  together  so  not  a  drop  she  sips. 

Alonso,  hale  and  hearty,  downs  a  gulp  of  his. 

"What  is  it,  Moriana?  What  is  it  makes  me  swoon? 

I  know  the  sun  is  shining  but  I  can't  see  my  roan." 

"Three  corrosive  sublimates,  blood  from  four  black  toads, 

Viper  eyes  and  scorpion  stings,  to  make  you  writhe  and  moan." 

"Cure  me,  Moriana — I'll  marry  you  today!" 

"It  cannot  be,  Alonso,  your  heart  has  died  away." 

"Pity  my  poor  mother,  weeping  and  bereft." 

"I've  pitied  mine,  Alonso,  since  the  day  we  met." 



The  Romancero  371 

The  Mistress  of  Bernal  Frances 
La  amiga  de  Bernal  Frances 

At  night  I  hug  my  pillow 

And  lie  in  bed  alone; 

Who  goes  there  proudly  knocking, 

Calling  'open"  at  my  door? 

"Bernal  Frances,  my  lady, 

Your  love  who  serves  you  true; 

At  night  we  share  the  covers, 

By  day,  the  garden  view/' 

She  rose  from  linen  sheets, 

A  flowing  robe  she  wore, 

With  golden  candelabra 

Downed  the  stairway  to  the  door. 

When  the  door  was  but  half  open 

He  blew  the  candle  out. 

"Protect  me,  Holy  Virgin, 

Protect  me,  good  Saint  Gil; 

Whoe'er  put  out  my  candle 

May  put  out  my  life." 

"Fear  not,  Catalina, 

Make  no  hue  or  cry, 

I  killed  a  fellow  fighting 

And  justice  seeks  my  hide." 

To  her  chamber  in  the  tower 

She  led  him  by  the  hand; 

In  a  silver  chair  she  sat  him, 

Backed  in  ivory,  and  then 

Bathed  him  all  in  sweet  balm  gentle 

His  skin  in  rare  perfume, 

Prepared  a  bed  of  roses, 

With  gillyflowers  festooned. 

"What  ails  you,  Bernal  Frances, 

Why  sorrow  at  my  side? 

Do  you  fear  for  justice? 

No  sheriff  enters  here. 

372  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Do  you  fear  my  servants? 

All  are  fast  asleep." 

"I  do  not  fear  for  justice, 

I  seek  it  for  myself 

Nor  less  do  I  fear  servants 

Who  sleep  their  honest  sleep." 

"What  is  it,  Bernal  Frances? 

You  never  acted  thus — 

In  France  you  have  a  sweetheart 

Or  heard  bad  news  of  me." 

"I  have  no  loves  in  France, 

Another  ne'er  I  served." 

"If  you're  thinking  of  my  husband, 

He's  far  away  from  here." 

"Distance  oft  grows  narrow 

For  him  who  wants  to  come: 

Your  wedded  husband  greets  you, 

For  I  in  truth  am  he. 

In  token  of  my  coming, 

A  gown  and  gift  I  bear: 

A  dress  of  finest  scarlet, 

All  crimson-lined  to  wear; 

A  necklace  stained  incarnadine, 

That  ladies  never  see, 

The  necklace  of  my  sword, 

Your  pretty  throat  will  sheathe. 

News  will  reach  the  Frenchman — 

He'll  mourn  you  in  despair." 


Ramon  Llull  373 

Catalan  Poets 


To  You,  Lady  Virgin  Santa  Maria 
A  vos,  Dona  Verge  Santa  Maria 

To  you,  Lady  Virgin  Santa  Maria, 
I  give  my  will  that  wills  your  love 
So  much  that  were  it  not  for  you 
I  would  not  want  desire  or  love 
For  every  will  has  betterment 
Above  all  others  that  are  not 
Enwilled  to  you,  love's  fountainhead: 
Who  wills  vou  not,  has  naught  of  love. 

As  my  will  enwills  your  mastery, 

I  give  to  you  my  memory  and  mind: 

Else,  Lady,  what  then  should  I  do? 

And  vou,  Milady,  I  pray  you,  keep  in  mind 

The  clergy,  love  and  understand 

They  journey  off  to  Syria 

To  preach,  converting  infidels 

And  Christian  men  to  peace. 

Many  a  man  is  proud  to  die 

For  your  Son,  as  people  say, 

But  few  will  go  to  preach  His  Word 

To  infidels,  and  brave  the  sword. 



374  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

When  the  Star  Appears  at  Daybreak 
Quart  far  Vestela  en  I'albor 

When  the  star  appears  at  daybreak 
And  flowers  all  adorn 
The  fields  with  many  colors 

And  hope  begins  to  dawn, 
I  am  garbed  with  happiness, 
With  tenderness  and  confidence 

That  dwells  in  lady  Love; 
And  then  I  ask  to  be  confessed 
By  her,  and  have  my  sins  redressed 

And  make  amends 
To  those  who  are  the  serving  men 

Of  Valor's  Queen, 
And  so  I  don't  expect  such  help 

That  to  no  sin 

I'll  be  impelled 
Since  there  be  true  confession. 



Alas!  If  I  Had  Married 
Lassal  Mais  m'agra  valgut/ que  fos  maridada 

Alas!  If  I  had  married 
Or  had  a  courtly  lover — 
But  I  became  a  nun. 

A  nun  to  my  lasting  sorrow 

And  great  the  sin 

Of  those  who  put  me  here. 

And  those  who  put  me  in 

Great  sorrow, 

May  God's  wrath  do  them  in! 

Pere  March  375 

For  if  I  had  ever  known 
— But  then  I  was  a  fool — 
Though  they  gave  me  all  Montagut, 
I'd  never  have  gone  in. 



The  Widow  Wearing  White  or  Saffron 
Viuda  que  fort  color  blanch  ne  saffra 

The  widow  wearing  white  or  saffron, 
Powder  or  perfumes,  will  give  and  take 
And  joke  a  lot,  and  have  a  mind  to  sell. 
And  if  she  can,  she'll  get  her  price; 
If  not,  she'll  go  for  nil : 
But  since  she  plays  the  bargainer, 
She'll  show  her  talents  well; 
And  so  I  really  doubt  she  lacks 
In  virtues  straight  from  hell! 


Ladies  I  Like  Well  Dressed 
Dominant  flatz  ben  arreada 

Ladies  I  like  well  dressed, 
And  gentlemen  well  armed, 
And  pretty  hair  well  curled, 
And  working  sleeves  well  rolled, 
And  horses  stoutlv  breasted, 
And  bridles  rash  and  bold 
To  hold  old  ladies  well. 

And  I  like  to  ride 
Across  the  busy  plain 

376  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

And  look  at  smoke  and  fires 
And  enemies  besieged 
Forced  to  keep  watch 
And  feel  unsafe 
Outside  the  walls. 

And  I  like  the  sweetheart 
Built  delicate  and  slim 
Providing  that  she's  glad 
That  I'm  her  sweetheart,  too, 
And  flirts  and  rolls  her  eyes 
To  pay  me  for  returning 
And  when  I  ask  her  to. 

Here's  what  I  like  even  better, 
A  wise  and  prudent  lord, 
One  not  served  in  vain, 
Frank  and  brave,  but  honest, 
Whose  retinue  is  large 
For  the  opposite's  too  dull. 

And  I  like  the  wintertime 

Before  the  sun  is  up, 

When  mass  is  said 

By  a  priest  who's  on  his  toes, 

A  low  mass,  and  not  sung, 

Except  on  holy  days 

To  celebrate  the  feast. 



The  Time  Is  Such  That  Each  Brute  Beast 
ho  temps  es  tal  que  tot  animal  hrut 

The  time  is  such  that  each  brute  beast 
Needs  love,  and  finds  a  mate. 

Ausias  March  377 

The  fearless  stag  howls  through  the  wood, 

His  bellow  judged  a  tender  song; 

The  magpie  chats  so  loud  and  long 

That  every  creature's  bound  to  join. 

The  nightingale  in  doleful  croon 

Sings:  Where  has  my  sweetheart  gone? 

And  if  I  grieve,  then  grief  is  right 

When  I  see  lovers  poor  at  love 

Or  clumsy  lovers  pass  for  skilled 

Or  see  not  what  is  wrong. 

And  so  I  make  a  just  complaint 

How  Desamor  beguiles  my  lady: 

For,  unaware,  she  wounds  her  slave 

Not  knowing  how  his  love  is  steady. 

Unlike  the  man  who  lost  his  wealth 

And  risked  his  all  in  hope  of  gain, 

I  love  you,  and  would  fain  be  loved 

Deliberately,  but  I  am  not. 

Stark  naked  in  my  heavy  cloak, 

I  find  that  Love  has  pawned  my  Will : 

And  that  for  which  my  Heart  is  ill 

Is  as  my  Need,  which  is  so  much. 

Lady  mid  thistles,  the  stork  hunts  with  the  kite, 

The  lapdog  with  the  bounding  rabbit; 

The  world's  a  much  too  lively  place 

While  my  frail  breast  sings  Passion  of  the  Palms! 


Where  Is  the  Place  My  Thought  May  Find  Repose? 
On  es  lo  Hoc  on  ma  pensa  repose? 

Where  is  the  place  my  thought  may  find  repose? 

Where,  I  ask,  may  longing  be  content? 

I  plumb  the  depths,  and  there  I  find 

No  anchorage,  no  port  where  I  would  dare. 

What  once  from  every  tempest  kept  me  safe 

378  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Has  turned  on  me,  a  cruel  deserted  shore: 
Abandoned  lies  the  house  where  I  was  sure; 
Where  I  am  now,  the  toil  is  great,  and  more. 

Where  is  that  joy  I  bring  to  mind 
Of  being  loved  by  one  who  understood? 
All  my  will  and  hers  could  put  no  end 
To  love,  because  its  power  was  enough. 
All  the  signs  that  love  makes  understood 
I  saw  in  her,  nor  will  their  work  relent. 
Who  can  say  his  love  reveals  so  much 
That  he  would  feel  no  anguish  at  our  plight? 

Now  naught  on  earth  is  my  defense: 

For  me,  all  life  has  lost  its  joy: 

To  friends,  perhaps  I  write  of  grief 

Though  time  cannot  repair 

The  grief  that  wears  my  mind: 

For  all  I  hear  or  see  is  grief, 

So  much,  that  now  I  fear  to  think 

That  grief  itself  may  be  defense. 

As  love  sets  free  the  firmest  heart 
To  grant  us  hope  of  joy, 
I  feel  the  world  is  in  despair 
For,  stripped  of  love,  all  joy's  offense, 
God's  weapon,  which  he  made  to  thrust 
The  body  from  its  wicked  star 
And  longings,  from  the  bitter  trace 
Of  pain,  still  indiscreetly  veiled. 

Like  that  sage,  who  living  out  his  life 
Right  pleasantly,  in  art's  pursuit, 
Was  made  to  see  his  art's  scant  good, 
I  know  not  where  my  mind  should  stray 
And  see  the  gates  of  love  are  shut 
Nor  can  I  say  what  course  is  best 
Or  change  my  ways  instead. 

Sant  Jordi  379 

O  Foolish  Love,  how  wrong  it  is 
To  risk  one's  love  for  virtue  in  a  lady! 
Her  quality  and  station  make  her  good: 
But,  truly,  who  can  live  that  way  forever? 



Below  the  Brow  I  Bear  Your  Lovely  Countenance 
Sus  lo  front  "port  vostra  bella  semblanga 

Below  the  brow  I  bear  your  lovely  countenance 
That  night  and  day  my  body  celebrates 
For  gazing  on  that  very  lovely  shape 
The  imprint  of  your  features  shall  remain 
Unchanged  in  me  as  death's  unyielding  form. 
And  when  I  part  entirely  from  this  world 
Those  who  bear  my  body  to  the  grave 
Upon  my  face  shall  contemplate  your  sign. 

As  the  child  who  sees  the  altarpiece 
And  dwells  upon  the  images  of  saints 
Cannot  be  swerved  for  purity  of  heart 
But  revels  in  surrounding  gold, 
So  I,  before  the  loving  circle 
Of  your  body,  by  delights  embowered, 
Do  dwell  upon  it  more  than  God, 
So  great's  the  joy  that  pierces  me! 

Thus  prisoner  of  ardent  love  I'm  bound 
Within  my  jail,  as  if  within  a  coffer 
With  lock  secured,  and  all  of  me  inside 
The  place  where  all  escape  is  but  encounter. 
For  so  great  and  firm's  the  love  I  have  for  you 
That  my  heart,  for  fear,  will  never  aught  desist 
From  loveliness,  but  firmly  as  a  tower 
Love  you  alone,  white  dove! 

380  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

Peerless  beauty,  nobly  you  prevail! 

God  made  your  lovely  body  loveliest  of  all, 

Gay  and  graceful,  bright  as  precious  stone, 

Amorous  and  lovely,  more  piercing  than  a  spear 

For,  grouped  with  others,  I  see  you  humble  all 

In  virtues,  as  the  carbuncle  that  glows 

Surpassing  every  stone 

As  the  hawk  outshines  the  lanner! 

My  love  for  you  thus  spears  me  from  all  sides 

For  no  man's  love  was  ever  so  sincere : 

So  strong  a  love  as  that  which  rends  my  soul 

Was  never  found  in  human  mind  or  breast. 

I  am  more  vexed  than  Aristotle 

By  love  that  burns,  unleashing  every  sense: 

And  like  the  good  monk,  who  never  left  his  cell, 

I  stray  from  you  no  more  than  the  finger  from  the  nail. 

Oh  graceful  body,  pure  of  fraud  and  crime, 
Have  pity  on  me,  fair  and  regal  lady, 
And  do  not  let  me  perish  of  your  love 
For  I  love  you  more  than  anyone  affirms 
And  beg  you,  tree  of  all  good  fruits 
Wherein  great  valor's  overcast, 
Retain  me  in  your  queenly  room 
For  I  am  yours  until  I  die. 

Rich  ruby,  now  your  crest  adorns 
The  highest  worldly  register 
For  kindliness  and  good  reborn 
In  you,  more  than  Penthesilea. 



Sant  Jordi  381 

Vexation,  Enemy  of  Youth 

Enuig,  enemich  de  jovent 

Vexation,  enemy  of  youth 
And  foe  of  thought 

You  vex  me  so 

That  nothing  makes  me  glad 
You  often  bring  such  grief 
I  feel  my  heart  will  burst 

Out  of  its  lodgings. 
In  the  first  place,  I  am  vexed 
With  the  world,  because  it  sits 
And  lets  men  get  away  with 

Frightful  acts. 

So  I  am  vexed 

With  the  world 

Whichever  way 

I  turn. 

Finally,  I  see 

That  absolutely  nothing 

Is  loyal  or  true 
But  only  wrong  or  wretched. 

And  so  I'm  vexed  with  love 
For  the  way  that  it's  abused 
And  with  all  the  foolish  boasters 

Who  never  did  a  thing. 
Others  squawk  of  love 
Whose  hearts  ne'er  felt  its  pangs 

Or  even  understood  it. 
And  I  deem  it  a  great  vexation 
When  I'm  with  her  I  love 
To  keep  my  languor  silent 

Because  someone  is  there. 

Another  far  worse 

(And  well  I  know) 

Is  waiting  long, 

382  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

And  I'm  vexed  by  the  clumsy  dolt 
Who  tries  too  hard 
To  please,  and  never  does. 

Another  thing  that  irks  me: 
When  I  am  speaking  somewhere 
And  someone  interrupts  me 

Just  as  I  make  my  point. 
Another,  when  I  make  a  witty  crack 
And  no  one  can  see  why 

Which  makes  me  mad 

Because  I  try 
To  tell  it  to  a  numbskull 
WT10  to  everything  says  no. 
Stubborn  enemies 

Bring  great  vexation 

And  irk  me,  too. 

But  it  vexes  me  more 

When  someone  I  dislike 

In  spite  of  me 

Tags  onto  me 
Which  really  eats  my  heart. 

Then,  too,  it  vexes  me 
To  snooze  at  night  between 
Two  in  a  crowded  bed 
And  more  so 
When  I'm  dressed 

And  shod  and  squeezed; 
But  I'm  more  vexed  and  irked  by  sleepy  loafers 

And  the  cold. 
For  I'm  vexed  by  the  churlish  fool 
Who,  without  my  asking, 
Butts  in  when  I  want  to  write 
A  secret  letter,  dealing  with  my  affairs; 

By  children  crying 

By  sleeping  on  a  board 

By  being  indisposed 

At  sundown,  alone  with  a  woman; 

Sant  Jordi  383 

When  I'm  locked  in; 

Or  when  my  charger 

Loses  his  hobnails  in  a  lonely  gulch. 

I  wish  to  complain  of  other  vexations 

That  have  made  my  heart  grow  old: 

Of  piggish  men 

Who  have  everything  to  say 

And  don't  believe  a  thing; 

Of  sermons  preached  by  fools; 

Of  sleeping  with  a  filthy  woman 

When  I  have  to; 
Of  riding  a  palfrey 

That  shuffles,  bumps,  and  lurches; 

Of  barking  dogs  at  night; 

Of  dealing  with  a  miser 

[Line  missing  in  manuscript] 

Of  the  sun  in  June 
Of  my  helmet  when  Lm  fighting 
And  then  again 
Of  the  lady  who  spreads 
Her  favors  wide,  casting  off  all  shame. 

I  am  also  vexed  as  death 

When  I'm  stranded  out  at  sea 

Or  else  hemmed  in  and  comfortless 

When  I  feel  sick; 
Wrien  I  hear  songs  out  of  tune 
Or  in  winter,  when  I  go  down 

The  gully  in  a  storm; 

When  there's  a  howling  wind; 

When  I  travel  on  sandy  ground; 

WTien  there's  smoke  without  a  fire  at  an  inn; 

And  by  one  who  ambles  down 

The  open  road 

And  then  is  lost; 

By  anyone  who  wakes  me  up 

Too  suddenly  from  sleep; 

384  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

By  a  man  who  somehow 
Is  of  my  class 
And  in  an  instant 
Takes  a  shine  to  me,  and  never  lets  me  go. 

Also,  I'm  vexed  when  I  shoot  dice 
And,  just  my  luck,  some  blockhead 
Sits  near  me  and  tells  me 

Something  vexing; 
When  I  travel  long  in  summer; 
Or  caTry  an  angry  goshawk  on  my  wrist 

And  I  am  clawed; 
When  I  sleep  with  a  man  who  coughs; 
Or  a  quarrelsome  old  man; 

And  by  mosquitoes 

When  at  night 

I'm  sound  asleep; 

By  a  sick  man 

Who  complains  too  much; 

By  a  hard  lance; 

By  hard  bread 

Grown  hard  too  long; 
Or  by  living  inside  bad  walls. 

Oh,  what  vexations  Fve  put  up  with 
So  many,  that  now  I  have  lost  count! 
But  I'm  very  vexed  by  a  shiftless, 

Stupid,  foolish  man; 
With  cloth  that  is  threadbare; 
With  mud,  at  night,  when  it  drizzles 

And  I  slip; 
With  someone  who  says  No  when  I  ask  him; 
When  I  often  meet  a  creditor; 
With  dried  up,  squalid  women; 

With  long  advice 

I  never  asked  for; 

With  sleeping  alone; 

With  hearing  only 

[Line  missing  in  manuscript] 

Sant  Jordi  385 

With  a  woman  who  shows 
Lack  of  judgment 
And  a  weak  man  who  shakes  his  fists. 

Of  all  the  vexations  Fve  mentioned 

I  know  of  none  so  stark 

As  poverty,  which  strikes  fear 

Into  young  and  old  alike 
And  when  Fortune  has  wounded  with  its  sword 

And  raises  some  not  worth  a  fig, 
And  strikes  down  and  makes  a  shambles 
Of  pure  gold  and  sterling  men, 

It  keeps  no  law 

Or  right  or  service 

Which  is  why  we  must 

Praise  God 

Who  owes  us  nothing, 

And  thus  I  end 

My  ballad  is  complete 
Let  each  man  turn  his  will  to  where  it  leads  him. 


I  Have  No  Liking  for  One  Who  in 

All  Things  Is  Not 
No  m'asalt  d'om  qu'en  tots  afars  no  sia 

I  have  no  liking  for  one  who  in  all  things  is  not 

Loyal  and  pure,  like  a  finely-balanced  scale. 

I  have  no  liking  for  one  who  five  days  out  of  seven 

Lies  in  his  words,  and  wants  company  of  lovers. 

I  have  no  liking  for  one  who  picks  a  feather  or  a  straw 

From  my  garments,  or  brags  of  battle; 

I  have  no  liking  for  a  man  without  shame, 

For  he  gluts  his  craw  with  every  food,  like  a  stork. 




The  Arabic  Poets 

The  Arabs  developed  a  highly  artistic  poetry  in  quantitative 
meters  as  early  as  the  end  of  the  fifth  century  a.d.  Descriptions 
of  nature,  camels,  desert  wanderings,  praise  of  self  and  tribe 
abound.  After  Mohammed's  death,  poetry  suffered  a  setback;  it 
revived  again  under  the  Ommayads  (661-750  a.d.)  in  Syria  and 
especially  in  Mesopotamia.  Under  the  Abbasids  (750-1258  a.d.) 
a  new  poetry  of  drinking-  and  hunting-songs  arose  in  the  urban 
centers  of  Iraq,  and  after  the  fall  of  the  Caliphate,  the  poetry 
flourished  in  the  courts  of  the  minor  princes,  especially  at 
Aleppo.  From  the  tenth  century  on,  short  forms  gained  increas- 
ing favor,  side  by  side  with  poems  in  praise  of  princes,  Ana- 
creontic love  and  wine  songs,  and  poetic  descriptions  of  objects, 
landscapes,  and  situations.  Spanish  Arabic  poetry  derives  from 
the  Oriental,  and  in  it  the  foregoing  changes  are  reflected.  The 
development  in  Spain  of  an  Arabic  poetry  worthy  of  the  name 
roughly  coincides  with  the  last  two  hundred  years  of  the  golden 
age  of  Arabic  culture  (eighth  to  eleventh  centuries)  which  saw 
the  assimilation  of  Hellenistic  and  Persian  culture,  and  es- 
pecially of  Persian  literary  influence. 

In  Arabic  poetry,  lines  are  usually  end-stopped  and  detach- 
able from  their  context.  Thus  it  is  no  surprise  that  Ibn  Sa'id's 
anthology  (compiled  in  1243)  consists  mainly  of  metaphorical 
or  descriptive  fragments.  The  best-known  form  that  flowered  in 
Arabic  Spain  during  the  eleventh  century,  called  jarchas  and 
composed  by  Arabs  and  Jews,  were  short  bi-lingual  songs. 
Longer  poems,  called  muwassahas,  contained  a  finida  or  refrain 
in  Spanish.  In  the  jarchas  are  to  be  found  the  earliest  lyrical 
blossoms  of  the  Iberian  peninsula.  Because  of  the  scarcity  of 
biographical  material,  the  Arabic  poets  are  not  listed  here  in- 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  387 

The  Hebrew  Poets 

Another  interesting  contribution  to  the  poetry  of  the  Iberian 
peninsula  came  from  Jewish  writers  who  composed  their  lyrics 
in  Hebrew,  Arabic,  and  Spanish.  The  two  outstanding  figures 
of  the  eleventh  and  twelfth  centuries  were  Gabirol  and  Halevi. 

Solomon  ibn  gabirol,  also  known  as  Avicebron, 
(102 1 -1 058),  the  "Jewisn  Plato"  and  "most  original  philosoph- 
ical writer  among  Jews  and  Arabs/'  derived  from  a  family  from 
Cordova  which  was  forced  to  move  to  Malaga  during  a  period 
of  wars.  While  still  very  young,  Gabirol  became  the  protege  of 
Yequeliel  Ibn  Hazan,  then  an  extremely  influential  personage 
in  the  service  of  the  Tuyibi  rulers  of  Saragossa.  In  that  city 
Gabirol  continued  his  philosophical  studies  and  wrote  poems 
in  Hebrew  based,  to  a  large  extent,  on  the  Hispano-Arabic 
themes  then  in  vogue:  friendship,  spring,  rural  life.  When 
dealing  with  the  ever  recurrent  motif  of  wine  and  women,  he 
expressed  himself  with  restraint.  Gabirol  also  initiated  metrical 
and  linguistic  innovations  that  revitalized  Hebrew  verse.  His 
hymns  are  still  sung  in  the  synagogues  of  the  world. 

judah  halevi  (c.  1078-1140),  born  in  Tudela,  traveled 
at  an  early  age  to  the  centers  of  intense  literary  activity:  Gran- 
ada, Cordova,  Seville,  attaining  fame  for  his  power  of  im- 
provisation and  for  his  originality  in  metrical  experimentation. 
He  composed  secular  and  liturgical  poems,  which  judiciously 
combined  Biblical  and  Arabic  influences.  Deeply  religious,  he 
succumbed  late  in  life  to  an  irresistible  urge  to  see  the  Holy 
Land.  According  to  tradition,  he  was  ridden  down  and  slain 
by  an  Arab  horseman  outside  the  gates  of  Jerusalem.  He  is 
best  known  among  Jews  for  his  poignant  Ode  to  Zion,  a  model 
for  such  utterances  down  through  the  ages. 

The  Galician-Portuguese  Poets 

Between  the  twelfth  and  fourteenth  centuries,  there  flour- 
ished in  the  western  part  of  the  Iberian  Peninsula  an  extremely 

388  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

rich  lyrical  poetry  in  the  language  spoken  in  Galicia  and  Portu- 
gal. The  2,000  poems  extant  fall  predominantly  into  four  cate- 
gories: some  seven  hundred  love  songs  (cantigas  d'amor*) — a 
substantial  number  have  been  attributed  to  King  Dinis  of  Por- 
tugal— which  are,  ostensibly,  imitations  of  Provencal  cansos;  folk 
poems,  vaguely  linked  with  the  Arabo-Andalusian  tradition, 
wherein  a  young  woman  tells  her  mother  about  the  "amigo," 
with  whom  she  has  fallen  in  love — hence,  they  are  called 
cantigas  d'amigo;  religious  songs,  in  praise  of  the  Virgin  Mary; 
coarse,  abusive  songs,  corresponding  to  the  Provencal  sirventes: 
cantigas  d'escarnh,  or  veiled  attacks — often  so  veiled  that  they 
are  difficult  to  decipher — against  individuals  or  institutions;  and 
cantigas  de  maldezir,  or  vitriolic  attacks  against  specific  persons, 
mentioned  by  name — and,  it  must  be  added,  in  this  group  are 
to  be  found  some  of  the  most  obscene  poems  ever  written. 

The  finest  work  of  the  Galician-Portuguese  was  done  either 
in  the  court  of  Alfonso  X  (Alfonso  the  Wise  of  Castile)  or  in 
that  of  King  Dinis  of  Portugal,  but  biographical  material  about 
the  poets  is  extremely  scarce. 

Alfonso  x  el  Sabio  [Alfonso  the  Wise]  (1 221-1284),  Cas- 
tilian  king,  scholar,  and  promoter  of  science  and  literature, 
also  wrote  in  Galician  Cantigas  de  Santa  Maria  and  about 
thirty  cantigas  d'amor  and  maldezir. 

codax,  martin  (A.  1250),  a  jogral  (i.e.,  jongleur),  whose 
seven  cantigas  d'amigo  refer  to  Vigo  and  the  sea  and  are  of 
unusual  interest,  since  their  musical  notation  has  been  found. 

dinis  [King  Dinis,  also  known  as  Dom  Dinis]  (1261-1325) 
King  of  Portugal,  founder  of  first  Portuguese  university  and 
Portugal's  greatest  medieval  poet,  noted  for  his  lovely  cantigas 
d'amigo.  Though  a  cultivator  of  the  Provencal  type  of  lyric, 
his  taste  for  the  indigenous  parallelistic  songs  indicates  that  he 
enjoyed  most  of  the  popular  songs  sung  by  the  jograis  at  his 

Fernandez,  roi  (Xlllth  century),  priest  and  contem- 
porary of  Alfonso  the  Wise  (q.v.);  wrote  cantigas  d'amor  and 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  389 

d'amigo,  and  is  noted  for  his  passionate  sea  melody,  which, 
even  as  it  upbraids  the  sea,  is  filled  with  the  sea's  music  and 

FERNANDEZ    DE    TURNEOL,    NUNO  (fl.  1 225),  who  was 

perhaps  a  knight  and  cultivated  all  the  various  types  of  lyrics, 
is  remembered  especially  for  his  alba  or  dawn-song,  a  rarity  in 
the  Portuguese  poetry  of  his  day. 

guilhade,  joan  de  (XHIth  century)  was  a  back- 
country  esquire  who  led  a  soldier's  life,  and  is  best  known  for 
the  technical  virtuosity  and  lively  wit  of  his  cantigas  d'amigo 
and  satiric  poems. 

LOPES    DE    BAIAN,    AFONSO    (fl.     I253-I278),    a    tWVador 

of  the  highest  nobility,  he  held  the  position  of  governor  and 
wrote  numerous  cantigas. 

macias  (fl.  1 360-1 390),  a  Galician  trovador,  whose  name 
recurs  in  romantic  legends  because  he  was  slain  by  the  jealous 
husband  of  his  mistress. 

meogo  or  moogo,  pero  [Peter  the  Monk]  (fl.  1250), 
probably  a  converted  Jew,  left  us  nine  lovely  cantigas  d'amigo. 

nunes,  airas  (c.  1175-1250),  probably  a  priest  at  the 
court  of  Alfonso  the  Wise  (q.v.),  also  a  brilliant  and  original 
jogral.  His  beautiful  sonnet-like  "The  Summertime  Delights 
Me,"  included  here,  is  one  of  the  few  cantigas  in  which  nature 
is  described;  he  wrote  songs  in  Provencal,  and  his  rich  lyrical 
vein  seems  to  foreshadow  the  doice  stil  novo,  two  centuries  be- 
fore its  arrival  in  Portugal. 

roiz  de  castelo-branco,  joao  (late  XHIth  cen- 
tury), best  known  for  his  Song  of  Parting,  wrote  a  letter  in 
verse  to  a  friend  in  Lisbon,  in  which  he  said  that  after  living  at 
court  he  had  retired  to  his  estate  at  Beira,  where  he  felt  happy 
and  did  not  miss  palace  life. 

390  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

zorro,  joan  (fl.  1250),  a  humble  court  jogral,  known  as 
"Foxy  John,"  during  the  reign  of  Afonso  III,  was  one  of  the 
earliest  singers  of  Lisbon.  His  version  of  the  dance-song  (bai- 
lada),  clearly  of  popular  origin,  received  more  literary,  but  less 
successful,  treatment  from  Airas  Nunes  (q.v.). 

The  Castilian  Poets 


The  Barbs  of  Mingo  Revulgo  (Las  coplas  de  Mingo  Revulgo, 
1464),  an  allegorical  dialogue  between  two  shepherds  satirizing 
the  political  and  social  scene  during  the  reign  of  Enrique  IV. 
Mingo  Revulgo  represents  the  people;  Gil  Arribato,  the  prophet; 
Enrique's  kingdom,  a  herd  abandoned  by  its  shepherds  to  the 
ravenously  powerful. 

Dispute  of  Elena  and  Maria  (Disputa  de  Elena  y  Maria7 
XHIth  century)  consists  of  402  lines  in  Leonese  dialect,  in 
predominantly  octosyllabic,  irregular  versification,  treating  a 
subject  much  in  vogue  in  Latin  and  French — who  is  to  be 
preferred  as  a  lover:  an  abbot  (or  lettered  man)  or  a  knight 
(or  man  of  arms). 

The  Cancionero  is  the  body  of  anonymous  medieval  songs; 
the  earliest  compilation,  by  King  Dinis  of  Portugal  (q.v.), 
dates  back  to  the  thirteenth  century;  in  Castilian  there  were 
several  compilations:  among  the  earliest,  the  Cancionero  de 
Baena,  containing  courtly  lyrics,  and  the  Cancionero  de  Stuniga, 
containing  popular  ones. 

The  Romancero  is  the  body  of  romances  or  ballads  which 
became  popular  throughout  Spain  after  the  twelfth  century. 
Some  claim  that  they  derived  from  the  epics,  that  they  were 
brief  elaborations  of  crucial  moments.  However  this  may  be, 
the  form  took  root  in  Spain  and  is  still  alive.  The  typical  ro- 
mance verse  has  eight  syllables  and  penultimate  stress;  the  form 
of  the  stanzas  varies,  and  in  a  later  phase  of  development  the 
quatrain  became  the  norm.  The  romances  have  been  classified 
according  to  theme:  the  Breton  cycle  (dealing  with  King 
Arthur  and  the  Round  Table  and  the  fabulous  world  of  Lance- 
lot, Tristan  and  the  Holy  Grail);  the  Carolingian  cycle  (high- 
lighting Charlemagne  and  his  twelve  Peers  and  other  Peers 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  391 

invented  by  the  jongleurs);  historical  ballads  about  the  Spanish 
heroes  and  their  deeds  of  arms;  frontier  or  border  ballads,  con- 
cerned with  the  conflicts  between  Moors  and  Christians;  and 
fictional  or  lyrical  ballads,  borrowed  from  sundry  myths  or 
newly  invented  by  the  anonymous  poets. 

berceo,  gonzalo  de  (1195-1246),  born  in  the  town 
of  Berceo,  diocese  of  Calahorra,  studied  in  the  Benedictine  mon- 
astery of  San  Millan  de  la  Cogolla  in  Rioja.  A  "monastery- 
bred  priest  but  not  a  monk,"  Berceo  is  the  first  Spanish  poet 
known  by  name,  an  erudite  writer  affecting  simplicity,  con- 
cealing a  sense  of  humor  beneath  a  grave  manner.  He  chose 
the  vernacular  for  his  biographies  of  local  saints;  his  poems 
reveal  a  feeling  for  nature,  and  pathos  and  the  comic  spirit 
seem  to  fuse  with  his  deep  religious  spirit. 

HURTADO  DE  MENDOZA,  D  I  E  G  O  (c.  I  364-1404),  Ad- 
miral of  Castile,  was  one  of  the  first  noblemen  to  write  lyrics 
in  the  Provencal  tradition.  Seven  of  his  poems  have  been  pre- 
served, he  is  remembered  chiefly  for  the  cosante  included  here, 
technically  of  Galician-Portuguese  origin,  comprising  two-lined 
stanzas,  each  with  an  invariable  single-line  refrain,  the  whole 
of  it  in  charmingly  interlacing  phraseology.  Don  Diego  was 
the  father  of  the  exquisite  Marques  de  Santillana  (q.v.). 


lorenzo,  juan  (fl.  1250),  a  native  of  Astorga,  wrote 
a  10,000-line  erudite  epic  recounting  the  legendary  enterprises 
of  Alexander  the  Great.  Although  the  poet  unquestionably 
possessed  encyclopedic  knowledge,  he  also  had  a  rich  and  color- 
ful imagination.  In  his  Libro  de  Alexandre  he  mingles  allegori- 
cal inventiveness  with  a  truculent,  anachronistic  history:  Meri- 
mee  did  not  exaggerate  when  he  considered  it  a  blend  of  Dante, 
Sinbad  the  Sailor,  and  Jules  Verne. 

manrique,  jorge  (c.  1440-1478),  born  at  Paredes  de 
las  Navas  and  related  to  the  Marques  de  Santillana  (q.v.), 
his  great-uncle,  and  other  lofty  personages,  immortalized  his 

392  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

name  through  his  elegy  on  the  death  of  his  father,  don  Rodrigo 
Manrique,  Grand  Master  of  the  Military  Order  of  Santiago. 
Both  father  and  son  were  killed  in  action  fighting  for  their 
king.  Although  the  elegy  is  not  original — death  and  life's  vani- 
ties being  an  ever  recurring  theme  in  medieval  Europe  (cf.  the 
danse  macabre,  and  the  poems  of  Sanchez  Calavera  [q.v.], 
and  Villon  [q.v.],  included  in  this  anthology) — Manrique  suc- 
ceeded in  endowing  it  with  unforgettable  pathos  and  musicality. 

men  a,  juan  de  (1411-1456),  the  son  of  a  Cordovan 
official,  was  educated  at  Salamanca  and  Rome.  During  his 
Italian  sojourn  he  saturated  himself  in  the  Renaissance  spirit. 
In  his  long  allegorical  poem  Laberinto  de  Fortuna  (1444),  the 
influence  not  only  of  Ovid  and  Lucan  but  also  of  Dante  is 
readily  discernible.  His  Mourning  of  the  Mother  of  Lorenzo 
Ddvalos  displays  lyrical  intensity  and  suggests  new  poetical 
horizons,  departing  as  it  does  from  the  narrow  confines  of  the 
jongleurs  as  well  as  the  repetitious  imitations  of  the  Provencal 

ruiz,  juan  (c.  1 283-1 350),  the  greatest  poet  of  medieval 
Spain,  was  Archpriest  of  Hita,  a  town  near  Guadalajara.  Sent 
to  prison  by  order  of  the  Archbishop  of  Toledo,  probably  for 
his  unsaintly  conduct  and  licentious  writings,  he  wrote  c.  1330 
the  Spanish  masterpiece  Libro  de  Buen  Amor,  which,  though 
supposedly  religious  in  intention,  glorifies  the  life  of  the  senses 
and  satirizes  human  frailty.  The  Libro  de  Buen  Amor  is  a 
colorful  panorama  of  Spanish  medieval  life. 

SANCHEZ    CALAVERA,    FERRAN(d.   I450),  also  known, 

WTongly,  as  Sanchez  Talavera,  was  a  Master  of  the  Order  of 
Calatrava  who  left  us  an  elegy  Qdecir)  on  the  death  of  Admiral 
Ruy  Diaz  de  Mendoza,  the  King's  chief  majordomo.  The  deep 
note,  so  eloquent  and  moving,  has  been  considered  precursory 
and  comparable  to  Jorge  Manrique's  Coplas  (q.v.).  Sanchez 
Calavera's  poem  is  written  in  octavas  of  anapaestic  type  Carte 
mayor),  previously  used  by  Juan  de  Mena  (q.v.). 

santillana,  marques  d  e  ( 1 398-1458),  the  courtier 
and  warrior  Inigo  Lopez  de  Mendoza,  was  born  in  Carrion  de 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  393 

los  Condes,  near  Burgos,  into  a  noble  family  of  poets  and 
statesmen:  his  father,  the  Admiral  of  Castile,  Hurtado  de  Men- 
doza  (q.v.),  penned  the  lovely  cosante  included  here.  Conscious 
of  Dante  and  Petrarch,  Santillana's  poetry  seems  to  combine 
traditional  forms  with  the  new  Italian  currents.  However, 
rather  than  his  didactic  and  allegorical  poetrv,  which  bulks  so 
imposingly  in  the  totality  of  his  work,  it  is  the  delicate  canci- 
ones,  villancicos  and  hill  songs  that  have  made  him  famous. 

sem  tob  or  santob  (c,  1290-1369),  Rabbi  of  Carrion 
de  los  Condes,  who  wrote  both  in  Spanish  and  Hebrew,  made 
his  name  famous  with  his  Proverbios  Morales  (c.  1350),  some 
400  quatrains  of  gnomic  verses,  Biblical  in  phrasing  and  didac- 
tic in  style,  dedicated  to  Peter  the  Cruel  of  Castile  and  Chancel- 
lor Pero  Lopez  de  Ayala  (1322- 1407),  also  a  poet  and  a  leading 
political  figure.  Each  of  the  quatrains  contains  a  moral,  ex- 
pressed often  in  intense  lyrical  phrasing,  delicate  and  subtly 

The  Catalans 

llull,  ramon,  more  universally  known  as  Rahnundo 
Lulio  or  Lully  (c.  1233-13 15),  was  born  in  Palma  de  Mallorca, 
served  in  his  youth  as  page  of  Jaime  I  the  Conqueror,  and  then 
wrote  love  songs.  At  the  age  of  thirty,  after  the  birth  of  his 
two  children,  he  changed  the  course  of  his  dissolute  life,  became 
converted  and  devoted  his  life  to  penitence  and  meditation. 
He  broke  his  family  ties  and  set  out  on  long  pilgrimages  as  a 
beggar,  visiting  Santiago  de  Compostela,  Rome,  and  the  Holy 
Land,  and  then  studied  in  the  outstanding  universities  of 
Europe.  In  his  eighties  he  was  stoned  to  death  by  an  angry 
mob  in  Tunis.  He  was  a  prolific  writer — more  than  200  works 
survive — and  excelled  for  his  allegorical  novels  and  mystical 
works.  His  mysticism  also  pervades  his  lyrics.  His  Cant  de 
Ramon  as  well  as  his  Desconhort,  depicting  his  spiritual  crisis 
and  conversion,  are  essentially  personal  utterances.  The  dra- 
matic and  majestic  Plant  de  nostra  dona  Santa  Maria  is  com- 
parable in  style  to  the  laudes  of  Jacopone  da  Todi  (q.v.) 

394  The  Iberian  Peninsula 

march,  ausias  (1397-1459),  the  greatest  poet  in  Cata- 
lan, Valencian  nobleman  and  soldier,  held  a  prominent  position 
in  the  court  of  Alfonso  the  Magnanimous  and  owned  con- 
siderable lands.  He  fought  in  Italy  and  retired  at  the  age  of 
thirty  to  Valencia,  serving  then  as  Chief  Falconer  to  the  King. 
His  poetry  excels  in  psychological  depth  and  metaphysical  an- 
guish; he  uses  Provencal  metres,  and  was  especially  influenced 
by  Arnaut  Daniel  and  to  some  extent  by  Dante  and  Petrarch. 

march,  pere  (c.  1338-1413),  Valencian  narrative  and 
lyric  poet  possessed  of  strong  ethical  concern.  Of  his  poems 
included  here,  one  deals  with  a  flirtatious  widow  and  the  other 
imitates  the  Provencal  school,  especially  the  Monk  of  Mon- 
taudun  (q.v.),  for  it  is  a  plazer,  enumerating  all  the  things  and 
actions  which  he  found  pleasant.  His  espargas,  couched  in  free 
verse,  are  characterized  by  their  simplicity,  humor,  and  sensuous 

sant  jordi,  jordi  d e  (c.  1 399- 1 430), Valencian  aristo- 
crat in  the  service  of  Alfonso  the  Magnanimous,  took  part  in 
numerous  military  engagements  in  Italy  and  the  Mediterranean. 
In  1423  he  was  captured  and  held  prisoner  by  the  condottiere 
Francesco  Sforza.  A  delicate  poet,  who  put  his  verse  to  music 
himself,  he  underwent  both  Provencal  and  Petrarchan  influ- 
ences. In  his  charming  Enuigs,  such  as  "I  Have  No  Liking 
for  One  Who  in  All  Things  Is  Not,"  he  imitates  the  Monk  of 
Montaudun  (q.v.).  His  unrhymed  Stramps,  "Below  the  Brow 
I  Bear  Your  Lovely  Countenance,"  is  perhaps  his  finest  single 
work,  a  veritable  milestone  in  the  development  of  Catalan 



The  Lay  of  Hildebrand  (c.  800) 

Magic  Spells  (from  Merseburg,  c.  700) 

Ruth  Yorck  and 
Go  out,  Worm,  with  Nine  Little  Worms 

Geh  aus,  \Vurm,  mit  neuen  Wiirmlein 
Phol  and  Wotan  Were  Riding  in  the  Forest 

Phol  ende  Uuodan  vuorun  zi  holza 
Thou  Art  Mine,  I  Am  Thine  (c.  1050) 

Du  hist  min,  ich  bin  din 
Stetit  puella 

Stetit  puella 
Never  the  Summer  Seemed  to  Me 

Ich  gesach  den  sumer  nie 
Floret  Silva  Undique 

Floret  silva  undique 
If  the  World  Were  Mine 

Waer  diu  werlt  alliu  min        Ruth  Yorck  and 
Song  for  the  Virgin  Mary 

Mary  Magdalene's  Song 

Lied  der  Maria  Magdalena    Ruth  Yorck  and 

Translated  by 
Herman  Salinger 
Kenward  Elmslie 

Ruth  Yorck  and 

Elizabeth  Closs 

Elizabeth  Closs 

Elizabeth  Closs 

Elizabeth  Closs 

Kenward  Elmslie 

Kenward  Elmslie 

Kenward  Elmslie 




Der  von  Kurenberg  (c.  11 50-1 160) 
The  Falcon  4^9 

Falkenlied  Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

396  Germany 

I  Stood  on  a  Battlement  the  Late  Eve  Darkened  410 

Ich  stuont  mir  nehtint  spate  an  einer  zinnen 

Margaret  F.  Richey 

Der  Burggrave  von  Regensburg  (c.  i  147) 
All  Winter  I  Lay  Alone  until  a  Lady  Brought  Me  Solace  41 1 

Ich  lac  den  winter  einej  wol  troste  mich  ein  wip 

Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

Spervogel  (c.  i i 70) 
He  Who  Asks  a  Wolf  to  Dine  Soon  Has  Cause  to  Wail  412 

Swer  den  wolf  ze  huse  ladet  der  nimmt  sin  schaden 

Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

Do  You  Know  What  the  Hedgehog  Said?  412 

Weistu,  wie  der  igel  sprach? 

Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

DlETMAR  VON  AlST   (c.    II5O-II70) 

On  the  Linden  Overhead  a  Bird  Was  Caroling  Its  Lay  4*3 

Uf  der  linden  ohene  da  sane  ein  kleinez  vogellin 

Margaret  F.  Richey 

A  Lady  Stood  Alone  414 

Ez  stuont  ein  frouwe  alleine  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Sleepest  Thou  Yet,  My  Sweeting?  4X4 

Slafest  du,  friedel  ziere?  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Friedrich  von  Hausen  (c.  i  i 50-1  i 90) 
My  Heart  and  Body  Wish  to  Take  Their  Leave  415 

Min  herze  und  min  lip  diu  wellent  scheiden 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

In  My  Dream  I  Saw  a  Woman  4J6 

In  minen  troume  ich  sach  Margaret  F.  Richey 

If  I  Might  Live  to  See  the  Day  416 

Geleht  ich  noch  die  liehen  zit  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Reinmar  von  Hagenau,  der  Alte 
(c.  1155-1210) 
I  Think  That  Love  Will  Come  My  Way  417 

Ich  wan  nur  liehe  geschehen  wil 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

You  Say,  the  Summer  Is  Here  Now  4*8 

Sie  jehent,  der  sumer  der  si  hie 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

One  Thing  They  Say  Displeases  Me  419 

Ein  rede  der  liute  tuot  mir  we  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Germany  397 

The  Day  on  Which  I  Took  the  Cross  4*9 

Des  tages  do  ich  daz  kriuze  nam  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Albrecht  von  Johansdorf  (fi.  1197) 
If  I  Saw  One  Who  Could  Say  He  Was  Come  from  Her  420 

Sach  ich  iemen  der  jaehe  er  woere  von  ir  komen 

Margaret  F.  Richey 

This  I  Know,  How  Love  Begins  to  Be  421 

Wie  sich  minne  hebt,  daz  wiz  ich  wol  Margaret  F.  Richey 

I  Found  without  a  Guard  422 

Ich  vant  si  dne  huote  Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Barker 

Heinrich  von  Morungen  (d.  1222) 
On  the  Heath  on  a  Morning  423 

Ich  hort  uf  der  heide  J.  B.  Leishman 

Ah  Me,  Shall  I  No  Longer  See  424 

Owe,  sol  aher  mir  iemer  me  J.  B.  Leishman 

Torturing  Glimpses  and  Passions  Unruly  425 

Leitliche  hlicke  und  grozliche  riuwe  J.  B.  Leishman 

Lady,  Wilt  Thou  Heal  My  Smart?  426 

Vrouwe,  wilt  du  mich  genern  Herman  Salinger 

Many  a  Man  Has  Been  Bewitched  by  an  Elf  427 

Von  den  elhen  wirt  entsen  vil  manic  man 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

She  Has  Wounded  Me  Right  Through  My  Heart  428 

Si  hot  mich  verwunt  reht  oldwich  mine  sele 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Saw  You  the  Ladies  429 

Sach  ieman  die  frouwen  Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Wolfram  von  Eschenbach  (c.  1170-1217) 
A  Lady  at  the  Watchman's  Song  Perceived  43° 

Den  morgenhlic  hi  wahters  sange  erkos        Charles  E.  Passage 
It  Has  Thrust  Its  Talons  Through  the  Morning  Clouds  431 

Sine  kldwen  durch  die  wolken  sint  geslagen  Charles  E.  Passage 
The  Lament  for  the  Love  of  Heroes  43 2 

Der  helden  minne  ir  Mage        Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 
Bursting  Leaves,  Flowers  Opening  43 3. 

Ursprinc  hluomen,  loup  uz  dringen 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

From  Titurel  (stanzas  1 17-120) 

I  Have  These  Many  Evenings  Watched  for  My  Beloved  434 

Ich  hdn  nach  liehem  vriunde  vil  dhende  al  min  schouwen 

Charles  E.  Passage 

398  Germany 

Walther  von  der  Vogelweide 
(c.  1170-1230) 
Under  the  Lime  Tree  435 

Under  der  linden  Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

0  Where  Have  They  Vanished  All  My  Years!  436 

O  weh,  vote  sind  entschwunden  alle  meine  Jahr! 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Children  Won't  Do  What  They  Ought  438 

Nieman  kan  unit  gerten         Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

1  Sat  Cross-Legged  upon  a  Stone  439 

Ich  saz  uf  eime  steine  Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Whoso,  Lord  God,  Being  Bold  to  Say  44° 

Swe  one  vorhte,  herre  got  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Winter  Has  Done  Us  Great  Harm  Everywhere  44° 

Uns  hat  der  winter  geschadet  iiber  al  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Lady  World,  You  Tell  the  Devil  441 

Fro  Welt,  ir  suit  dem  wirte  sagen 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Who  Slays  the  Lion?  Who  Slays  the  Giant?  442 

VJer  sleht  den  lewen,  wer  sleht  den  risen? 

Gillian  Barker  and  Kenneth  Gee 

Neidhart  von  Reuental  (c.  i  i 80-1 250) 
And  If  Some  Place  I  Have  a  Home  443 

Und  han  ich  indert  heime  Margaret  F.  Richey 

I  Never  Saw  the  Field  443 

Ine  gesach  die  heide  nie  haz  gestalt  Margaret  F.  Richey 

The  Season's  Here!  445 

Diu  zit  ist  hie  Margaret  F.  Richey 

Ulrich  von  Lichtenstein  (c.  i 200-1 275) 
Among  Sweet  Tones  in  Forest  Bowers  446 

In  dem  walde  siieze  doene  Kenneth  Oliver 

Mechthild  von  Magdeburg  (c.  1 207-1 285) 
Lord  'Tis  Said  That  from  the  World  447 

Herre,  es  heizzt  mins  herzen  lust  Mabel  Cotterell 

Most  Gladly  Would  I  Die  of  Love  448 

Ich  stiirhe  gem  aus  Minne  R.  G.  L.  Barrett 

Ails  a  Human  Heart  448 

Wie  der  Liebeswunde  gesunde  R.  G.  L.  Barrett 

Germany  399 

Dearest  Love  of  God,  I  Pray  Thee,  Evermore  Enfold  My  Soul      448 
Eia,  Hebe  Gottesminne  R.  G.  L.  Barrett 

Der  Wilde  Alexander  (late  XIHth  century) 
Years  Back  When  We  Were  Children  449 

Hie  vox  do  wir  hinder  waxen  Robert  Lowell 

Johannes  Tauler  (c.  1300-1371) 
There  Comes  a  Ship  All  Laden  45° 

Es  kumpt  ein  schiff  geladen  Mabel  Cotterell 

Hans  Rosenplut  (XVth  century) 
He  Who  Scrubs  a  Raven  White  45 1 

Wer  baden  wil  ein  Raben  weiss 

Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

Anonymous  (XVth  century) 
Nuns'  Drinking  Song  452 

Trienklied  der  Nonnen  Ruth  Yorck  and  Kenward  Elmslie 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  453 



The  Lay  of  Hildebrand 

I  heard  it  told 

that  challengers  singly  met: 

Hildebrand  and  Hadubrand  between  two  hosts. 

Son  and  father  they;  saw  to  their  armor; 

made  fast  their  mail-shirts;  girded  their  swords  on, 

over  the  rings,  to  ride  to  such  striving. 

Hildebrand  first  spoke;  higher  in  years  he, 

master  of  men,  measured  his  words, 

first  asked  wisely,  who  his  father  was, 

prince  of  the  people 

"or  of  what  clan  thou  art. 

If  thou  but  tellst  me  this,  well  I  shall  wot  the  rest. 

Lad,  in  the  lands  of  kings,  few  are  unknown  to  me." 

Hadubrand,  he  spoke — Hildebrand's  son: 

"This  our  folk  told  me, 

old  folk  that  were  there  before, 

that  Hildebrand  was  my  father,  my  name  is  Hadubrand. 

Eastwards  he  fared  once,  fleeing  from  Odoacer 

thence  with  Theodoric  and  all  his  thanes. 

He  left  in  his  lands:  his  lady,  his  lad, 

home  in  his  house,  a  beardless  boy. 

Left  son  and  heir,  riding  to  eastward, 

for  that  Theodoric  longed  so  to  have  him 

stand  at  his  side,  that  was  a  friendless  man. 

He  was  to  Odoacer  boundless  in  ill-will, 

and  was  of  his  thanes  all  Theodoric's  dearest. 

He  rode  at  the  horde's  head;  loved  all  too  well  fighting. 

Dear  he  was  to  daring  men. 

Nor  do  I  hope  have  he  is  alive  now.  .  .  . 

Witness  is  God  on  High  up  in  the  Heavens 

Thou  never  yet  hast  stood  up  to  one  like  him, 

of  such  a  lineage  .  .  ." 

Anonymous  401 

He  wound  from  his  arm  the  winding  bands: 

gold  worked  for  kaisers  e'en  as  die  king  gave  him. 

The  lord  of  the  Huns  spake:  "This  gift  I  give  you." 

Hadubrand  answered,  Hildebrand's  son: 

'With  spear  and  gear  such  gifts  should  be  greeted 

point  against  point. 

Thou  art,  old  Hun,  monstrous  sly, 

wooest  with  words  me,  wouldst  spend  thy  spear  on  me. 

Art  such  an  ancient  man,  yet  so  full  of  guile  thou. 

They  told  me  who  plow  the  sea 

west  o'er  the  world's  waves:  war  took  him  away. 

Dead  is  Hildebrand,  Herbrand's  son. 

Well  do  I  see  by  thy  fine  trappings 

that  thou  at  home  hast  a  good  lord  and  master, 

no  outcast  thou  that  ridest  and  fleest." 

Hildebrand  answered,  Herbrand's  son: 

<rVerily,  wills  it  God,  woeful  our  fate's  way. 

Abroad  I've  dwelt  summers  and  winters  full  sixty, 

since  I  was  chosen  one  of  the  fighters: 

Whom  no  man's  weapon  ever  laid  low, 

Now  shall  my  own  son's  brand  best  me, 

blade  bore  through  me  or  I  bring  his  blood-death. 

Yet  if  thy  zeal  be  strong,  canst  thou  today  gain 

armor  and  arms  of  this  ancient  and  aged  man, 

booty  for  boldness,  if  right  thou  hast  any. 

He  would  be  the  most  craven  of  cowards  from  eastward 

who  turned  away  one  like  thee  thirsting  for  fight. 

The  two-man  fight,  try  it  who  must, 

See  which  today  must  leave  empty  his  armor 

or  both  our  byrnies  be  his  alone." 

They  let  first  of  all  ash-spears  whirr 

in  sharp  showers — stood  in  the  shields  fast. 

Then  closed  in  together,  splitting  the  shield's  edge, 

hewing  harm  into  the  heavy  circles, 

till  shields  were  but  shards,  worn  with  their  weapons. 



402  Germany 

Magic  Spells 

Go  out,  Worm,  with  Nine  Little  Worms 

Geh  aus}  Wurm,  mit  neuen  Wiirmlein 

Go  out,  worm,  with  nine  little  worms, 
Out  of  the  marrow  into  the  bone, 
Out  of  the  bone  into  the  flesh, 
Out  of  the  flesh  into  the  skin, 
Out  of  the  skin  into  the  arrow, 
So  be  it. 


Phol  and  Wotan  Were  Riding  in  the  Forest 
Phol  ende  Uuodan  vuorun  zi  holza 

Phol  and  Wotan  were  riding  in  the  forest. 
There  the  horse  of  Baldur  twisted  his  foot. 
Sinthgunt  cast  a  spell, 
The  sister  of  Sunna, 
Then  Freya  cast  a  spell, 
The  sister  of  Uclla, 
Then  Wotan  cast  a  spell, 
As  only  he  could  cast  a  spell : 

Be  it  twisted  bone 

Be  it  twisted  blood 

Be  it  twisted  joint 

Bone  to  bone, 

Blood  to  blood, 

Joint  to  limt) — 

Let  them  be  glued  together. 



Anonymous  403 

Thou  Art  Mine,  I  Am  Thine 

Du  hist  min,  ich  bin  din 

Thou  art  mine,  I  am  thine; 

Certain  be,  in  this  heart  of  mine 

Locked  thou  art, 

Here  within; 

Lost  for  ever  is  the  little  key: 

Herein  must  thou  always  be. 


Stetit  Puella 
Stetit  fuella 

Stetit  puella 
rufa  tunica: 
si  quis  earn  tetigit, 
tunica  crepuit  eia. 

Stetit  puella, 
tanquam  rosula 
facie  splenduit, 
et  os  ejus  floruit  eia. 

Stetit  puella 
by  a  tree, 
scripsit  amorem 
on  the  leaves 

There  came  Venus  at  once, 
caritatem  magnam, 
great  was  the  love 
she  offered  her  leman. 


404  Germany 

Never  the  Summer  Seemed  to  Me 
Ich  gesach  den  sumer  nie 

Never  the  summer  seemed  to  me 
more  gloriously  fair  than  now. 
With  many  blossoms  beautiful 
The  meadow  richly  decks  itself. 
Field  and  wood  is  full  of  song, 
The  birds  are  singing  the  season  long. 


Floret  Silva  Undique 
Floret  silva  undique 

Floret  silva  undique, 
For  my  lover  I  pine  away. 
The  forest  burgeons  everywhere, 
Where  bides  my  lover  so  long? 
Alas,  he  has  ridden  o'er  the  lea 
Who  will  love  me?  Woe  is  me. 


If  the  World  Were  Mine 

Waer  diu  werlt  alliu  min 

If  the  world  were  mine 
From  the  ocean  to  the  Rhine, 
I'd  renounce  it  without  qualms 
If  the  Queen  of  England1 
Were  lying  in  my  arms. 


1  The  Queen  of  England  referred  to  is  probably  Mathilda  de  Poitou,  who 
married  Henry  the  Lion  in  1 168. 

Anonymous  405 

Song  for  the  Virgin  Mary1 

0,  into  the  earth 
Aaron  set  a  rod, 
Which  then  bore  almonds, 
A  most  noble  seed, 
You  brought  forth  their  sweet  taste, 
Mother,  without  a  man's  embrace. 
Sancta  Maria. 

In  the  dense  undergrowth 

Moses  saw  a  fire. 

The  branches  were  not  burning, 

Above  he  saw  the  flame, 

Blazing  brilliantly, 

Proof  of  your  purity. 

Sancta  Maria. 

Gideon,  leader  of  Israel, 
Spread  out  a  lambskin 
So  the  dew  of  heaven 
Would  rain  upon  the  wool. 
Thus  you  remained  chaste 
While  becoming  fruitful. 
Sancta  Maria. 

Sea-star,  red  dawn, 
Soil  never  ploughed, 
There  a  flower  grows, 
Bright  and  beautiful, 
She  stands  among  the  others, 
A  lily  among  thorns. 

Sancta  Maria. 

From  a  song  sequence  written  at  the  monastery  at  Melk.  Donau. 

406  Germany 

A  fishing  line  was  braided 
At  the  time  you  were  born. 
Involving  all  your  folk. 
The  hook  was  God's  own  will, 
And  strangled  Death  to  death 
Which  was  concealed  from  you. 
Sancta  Maria. 

Isaiah  the  wise  seer, 
He  has  predicted  you. 
He  said  from  Jesse's  root 
A  slender  branch  would  sprout, 
Blooming  to  a  flower. 
He  meant  you  and  your  child. 
Sancta  Maria. 

They  belong  to  each  other, 
Heaven  and  earth  together, 
Like  the  ox  and  the  ass 
Who  at  once  praised  the  Child. 
And  so  your  womb  became 
A  cradle  for  the  lamb. 

Sancta  Maria. 

You  gave  birth  to  the  Child  of  God 
Who  henceforth  released  us  all 
With  his  holy  blood 
From  eternal  suffering. 
He  shall  be  forever  praised. 
You  have  brought  us  countless  joys. 
Sancta  Maria. 

Locked  portal, 
Open  to  God's  word, 
Overflowing  honeycomb 
Laden  with  sweetness, 
You  are  without  gall, 

Anonymous  407 

Like  the  turtledove. 

Sancta  Maria. 

Sealed  well, 
Walled  garden, 
Where  balsam  grows, 
Spiced  with  cinnamon, 
You  are  the  cedar  tree 
Avoided  by  the  snake. 

Sancta  Maria. 

Cedar  in  Lebanon, 
Rose  in  Jericho, 
Choicest  myrrh, 
Subtly  scented, 
You  are  above  all  angels. 
You  atone  for  Eve. 

Sancta  Maria. 

Eve  brought  us  double  death, 
One  still  condemns  us. 
You  are  the  opposite, 
You  have  brought  us  life. 
The  Devil  counsels  death  for  us, 
Gabriel  sings  the  word  of  God. 
Sancta  Maria. 

You,  a  virgin,  bore  a  child, 
The  noblest  in  the  world. 
You  resemble  the  sun, 
Risen  in  Nazareth, 
Jerusalem  Gloria, 
Israel  Laetitia. 

Sancta  Maria. 

Queen  of  heaven, 
Portal  of  paradise, 
You  were  chosen  House  of  God. 

408  Germany 

Sacrarium  Sancti  Spiritus. 
You  guide  us  on  our  way, 
To  our  Judgment  Day. 

Sancta  Maria. 


Mary  Magdalene's  Song1 
Lied  der  Maria  Magdalena 

Peddler,  sell  me  a  shade  of  red 
To  make  my  cheeks  glow  brightly, 
So  I  can  teach  the  fine  young  men 
Not  to  treat  love  lightly. 

Young  man, 
Look  at  me, 
I'll  please  you  if  you  please  me 

Go  and  find  some  lovely  maid 
Shower  love  upon  her. 
Love's  sweet  harvest,  fine  young  men, 
Will  bring  you  joy  and  honor. 

Young  man, 

Look  at  me, 

I'll  please  you  if  you  please  me 

Bless  you,  world!  For  you  are  thus 
Rich  in  earthly  pleasure. 
I'll  serve  you  in  my  own  sweet  way 
By  giving  love  full  measure. 

Young  man, 
Look  at  me, 
I'll  please  you  if  you  please  me 


1  From  the  Easter  play  at  Benedikt  Beuren. 

Der  von  Kiirenberg  4°9 


The  Falcon 

I  raised  a  falcon  for  more  than  a  year. 

When  he  was  tamed  to  my  heart's  content, 

I  wound  in  his  wings  a  golden  band 

Then  he  swooped  up  high  and  flew  to  other  lands. 

I  watched  the  falcon  in  perfect  flight, 

From  his  talons  trailed  thongs  made  of  silk. 

In  his  wings  there  gleamed  red  and  golden  feathers. 

May  God  help  all  lovers  who  long  to  be  together. 

I  take  it  to  heart  and  I  must  cry 

I  and  my  love  are  forced  apart 

Because  of  liars,  may  God  give  them  pain. 

Whoever  reunites  us  will  make  me  glad  again. 

The  dark  star  goes  into  hiding 
Like  you,  my  beauty  each  time  you  see  me. 
Let  your  eyes  glance  at  another  knight 
Then  no  one  will  know  our  bitter  plight. 

Both  woman  and  bird  are  easy  to  tame. 

They  search  for  the  man  who  can  tempt  them  best. 

Thus  a  fair  maid  is  wooed  by  a  knight, 

When  I  think  about  this,  I  am  filled  with  delight. 



41  o  Germany 

I  Stood  on  a  Battlement  the  Late  Eve  Darkened 

Ich  stuont  mir  nehtint  spate  an  einer  zinnen 

(A  lady  speaks*) 
I  stood  on  a  battlement  the  late  eve  darkened. 
To  a  knight  singing  sweetly  below  I  harkened. 
'Twas  the  tune  of  Kiirenberg  rose  amid  the  throng. 
Either  he  must  quit  my  lands  or  else  to  me  belong! 

(The  knight's  answer  is  addressed  to  his  squire) 
Now  bring  me  hither  quickly  my  armor  and  my  steed, 
For  I  must  quit  the  lands  of  a  lady  with  speed. 
Fain  would  she  compel  me  her  dear  friend  to  be. 
She  must  bear  the  loss  for  ever  of  all  love  from  me! 

(In  the  next  three  songs  a  lady  speaks) 

When  I  am  standing  in  my  smock  alone, 

And  I  think  of  thee,  noble  man, 

Then  my  color  flushes,  as  on  thorn-spray  the  rose, 

And  many  a  sad  longing,  deep  within,  my  heart  knows. 


I  reared  me  a  falcon  more  than  a  year. 
When  I  had  tamed  him  and  meant  to  keep  him  near, 
And  had  adorned  his  feathers  with  gold  bright  and  gay, 
He  soared  aloft  so  proudly,  and  flew  far  away. 

I  saw  the  falcon  later,  flying  so  rarely. 

Silken  cords  he  wore  became  him  fairly, 

And  his  feathers  were  all  of  a  red-gold  hue. 

God  send  them  together,  who  are  dear  friends  and  true! 


Tears  come  welling  up  from  my  sad  heart. 
I  and  my  comrade  were  forced  to  part. 

Burggrave  von  Regensburg  411 

Liars  the  cause  of  that:  God  give  them  bane! 
O  this  were  joy,  could  we  be  reconciled  again! 

(In  the  last  songs  a  knight  is  the  speaker, 
except  that  the  last  two  lines  are  spoken  by  the 
poet  in  person^) 

Beautiful  woman,  now  come,  go  with  me! 
Pleasure  and  pain,  I  will  share  both  with  thee. 
So  long  as  I  have  life,  thou  to  me  art  full  dear. 
The  ways  of  base  lovers  thou  hast  no  need  to  fear! 


The  star  darkly  gleaming  hides  its  dim  light. 

So  do  thou,  fair  lady:  when  I  stand  in  thy  sight, 

Then  let  thine  eyes  rest  on  some  other  man. 

So  none  shall  guess  easily  what  we  too  there  may  plan. 


All  the  charm  of  womankind  still  goes  a  maid. 

When  to  greet  her  from  me  my  messenger  is  sped, 

Were  it  not  to  her  peril,  I  would  after  him  go. 

I  know  not  how  to  praise  her,  I  have  never  loved  woman  so. 

Woman  and  falcon  are  eisilv  made  tame. 
Both  will  come  flying  to  a  man's  lure  the  same. 
Thus  did  a  comely  knight  woo  a  fair  lady. 
When  I,  too,  think  thereon,  my  bold  heart  is  ready. 



All  Winter  I  Lay  Alone  until  a  Lady 

Brought  Me  Solace 

Ich  lac  den  winter  eine/wol  troste  mich  ein  wif 

All  winter  I  lay  alone  until  a  lady  brought  me  solace. 
And  to  our  joy,  summer  arrived,  and  flowers. 

412,  Germany 

The  envious  grew  jealous.  My  heart  is  in  pain, 
Only  a  woman's  love  can  cure  me  again. 

"Now  they  tell  me  to  avoid  the  knight.  How  I  mind! 
We  lay  hidden,  happily  entwined, 
Secretly  together.  I  grow  weak  with  longing — torn 
From  him,  our  ungentle  parting  leaves  forlorn." 



He  Who  Asks  a  Wolf  to  Dine 
Soon  Has  Cause  to  Wail 

Swer  den  wolf  ze  huse  ladet  der  nimmt  sin  schaden 

He  who  asks  a  wolf  to  dine  soon  has  cause  to  wail. 
A  sailor  easily  overloads  a  ship  that's  old  and  frail. 
What  I  want  to  say  is  clear — 

He  who  buys  his  wife  dress  after  dress  year  after  year 
Buys  more  than  that.  Too  vain  to  be  mastered, 
She  calls  him  a  bastard. 



Do  You  Know  What  the  Hedgehog  Said? 
Weistn,  wie  der  igel  sprach? 

Do  you  know  what  the  hedgehog  said? 

Everyone  should  have  his  own  room  and  bed. 

Build  a  house,  little  man, 

A  place  to  live,  work,  and  plan. 

He  is  very  badly  off 

Who  has  no  home  to  call  his  own. 

He  will  find  the  going  rough. 

Dietmar  von  Aist  413 

Whatever  the  weather,  snow  or  ice, 

In  the  early  morning,  the  guest  must  rise. 

Innkeepers  stay  warm  and  dry — 

The  guest  must  leave  and  say  goodbye 

To  the  hearth  where  he  does  not  belong. 

He  who  has  no  home  to  call  his  own 

Should  have  thought  ahead  while  young  and  strong. 

The  rich  man  lives  without  a  care, 

The  man  in  need  goes  everywhere 

And  takes  what  comes,  both  good  and  bad. 

This  must  not  happen  to  my  lad, 

Who  longs  to  roam  and  run  berserk. 

He  pulls  my  beard  until  I  groan — 

It's  time  I  settled  down  to  work. 



On  the  Linden  Overhead  a  Bird 

Was  Caroling  Its  Lay 

Uf  der  linden  obene  da  sane  ein  kleinez  vogellin 

On  the  linden  overhead  a  bird  was  caroling  its  lay. 

From  the  wood  its  music  rang,  whereat  my  heart  was  borne  away 

To  seek  a  place  where  once  it  dwelled. 

I   saw   the   roses   blooming   there. 
They  call  into  my  mind  the  thoughts  that  link  me 

to  a  lady  fair. 

"Methinks  a  thousand  years  are  fled  since 

in  my  lover's  arms  I  lay. 

Without  or  cause  or  fault  of  mine  he  leaves  me 

friendless  many  a  day. 

Since  the  time  when  last  I  saw  the  flowers  and  heard 

the  sweet  birds'  song, 

414  Germany 

Short,  alack,  my  joy  has  been  and  my  heart-sorrow 

all  too  long." 


A  Ladv  Stood  Alone 
Ez  stuont  ein  frouwe  alleine 

A  lady  stood  alone, 

And  looked  out  over  the  field, 

And  looked  for  her  lover. 

In  the  air  above  her 

A  falcon  wheeled. 

"Hail,  falcon,  it  is  well  for  thee! 

Thou  from  a  forest  tree 

Choosest  what  bough  thou  wilt 

To  be  thy  pleasure 

Thus  have  I  also  done: 

I  chose  myself  a  man, 

My  eyes  did  measure 

And  single  out  his  beauty. 

Now  fair  ladies  envy  me  that  booty. 

0  why  will  they  not  leave  my  love  to  me? 

1  never  cared  for  love  of  theirs,  but  let  them  be." 



Sleepest  Thou  Yet,  My  Sweeting? 
Slafest  du,  friedel  ziere? 

"Sleepest  thou  yet,  my  sweeting? 

Our  night,  alas,  is  fleeting. 

A  litde,  lovely  bird  but  now 

Flew  to  its  perch  upon  the  linden  bough." 

"I  slept,  nor  dreamed  of  waking. 
Up,  criest  thou,  Dawn  is  breaking! 

Friedrich  von  Hansen  415 

Bliss  without  bale,  this  may  not  be. 

Whatso  thou  biddest,  dear  love,  I  accept  from  thee." 

She  spoke,  and  wept  for  sorrow : 
'Thou  goest — alas  the  morrow! 
When  wilt  thou  come  to  me  again? 
My  joy  goes  with  thee;  I  alone  remain." 



My  Heart  and  Body  Wish  to  Take  Their  Leave 
Min  herze  und  min  lif  diu  xvellent  scheiden 

My  heart  and  body  wish  to  take  their  leave, 
Who  long  together  now  have  gone  their  way. 
The  body  longs  to  go  and  fight  the  heathen: 
And  yet  the  heart  has  chosen  a  lady 
Before  all  others  it  has  distressed  me  since  that  day, 
One  will  no  longer  follow  the  other's  lead. 
Looking  upon  her  has  given  me  much  grief. 
God  alone  can  settle  this  affray. 

I  thought  that  I  had  lost  such  misery, 
When  I  took  up  the  cross  for  God's  renown. 
It  would  be  fitting  that  the  heart  were  free, 
But  that  its  constancy  commands  a  ban. 
I  should  most  surely  be  a  living  man, 
If  it  would  not  behave  so  wilfully. 
Now  it  is  quite  indifferent,  I  see, 
For  what  my  destiny  may  have  in  hand. 

Since  heart,  your  ways  you  will  not  mend, 
And  you  wish  to  leave  me  with  such  grief, 
So  I  pray  to  God  that  he  may  send 
You  some  place  where  you  will  be  well  received. 
Alas  what  will  befall  me  when  you  leave! 
Dare  you  alone  with  danger  so  contend? 

4*6  Germany 

Who  will  help  you  sorrow  to  an  end 
With  such  faithfulness  as  I  did  give? 



In  My  Dream  I  Saw  a  Woman 
In  minen  troume  ich  sack 

In  my  dream  I  saw  a  woman 

Fair  to  gaze  upon, 

All  night  long  till  daybreak; 

When  I  woke,  she  was  gone. 

Where  she  is  now,  alas, 

I  have  no  means  of  knowing. 

That  joy  came  not  to  pass 

Which  she  was  showing. 

My  eyes  did  this  to  me: 

'Twere  best,  if  I  could  not  see! 


If  I  Might  Live  to  See  the  Day 
Gelebi  ich  noch  die  lieben  zit 

If  I  might  live  to  see  the  day 
When  I  could  greet  that  land  so  fair 
Which  harbors  all  I  know  of  joy, 
Because  my  lady  dwelleth  there, 
Then  no  tear  should  vex  my  eye, 
No  man  or  woman  hear  me  sigh 
Or  utter  words  of  care. 
Many  a  thing  my  mind  would  please 
That  used  to  be  my  mind's  disease. 

I  fancied  we  were  far  apart 
Where  I  should  now  feel  very  near. 

Reinmar  von  Hagenau  417 

In  a  strange  land,  my  constant  heart 

Knows  grief  that  makes  old  hardships  dear. 

Were  I  somewhere  near  the  Rhine, 

Td  hear  the  news  for  which  I  pine 

Since  I  am  planted  here, 

Shut  off  beyond  the  mountain  screen 

That  stretches  ruthlessly  between. 



I  Think  That  Love  Will  Come  My  Way 
Ich  wan  nur  liebe  geschehen  xvil 

I  think  that  love  will  come  my  way: 

My  heart  lifts  up  towards  its  play, 

Like  the  falcon  in  his  flight 

And  the  eagle  on  the  wind. 

Yet  I  left  my  love  behind. 

If  only  I  may  then  discover 

She  is  unharmed  as  when  I  left  her! 

It  is  good  with  her  to  rest. 

Lord  God,  grant  me  my  request 

That  I  must  see  her  so 

And  atone  for  all  her  sorrow; 

If  she  is  in  distress. 

That  I  may  ease  it  for  her 

And  she  may  make  my  trouble  less; 
We  may  enjoy  our  love  at  last. 
Ah  the  long  night  is  gladness  to  me! 

How  could  I  be  downcast? 



4i  8  Germany 

You  Say,  the  Summer  Is  Here  Now 
Sie  jehent,  der  sumer  der  si  hie 

"You  say,  the  summer  is  here  now, 

That  joy  is  come  to  stay, 

And  that  I  am  as  well  as  once  I  was. 

Now  speak  and  tell  me  how. 

Death  has  taken  much  away 

So  I  can  never  overcome  the  loss. 

What  do  I  need  then  with  a  time  of  mirth, 

Since  Leopold  lord  of  all  joys  lies  in  the  earth, 

Whom  I  never  knew  to  mourn? 

The  world  has  lost  by  this  one  death 

As  by  no  other  man's 

So  great  misfortune  has  been  borne. 

I  poor  woman  was  so  glad 

When  I  thought  of  him 

How  my  salvation  lasted  while  he  lived. 

That  this  I  shall  no  longer  have, 

Will  with  sorrow  spin 

Out  whatever  of  my  life  is  left. 

The  mirror  of  my  joy  is  lost. 

What  I  would  have  chosen  to  give  my  eyes  a  summer  feast, 

I  must  give  up  for  good  and  all. 

When  they  told  me  he  was  dead, 

At  once  the  blood  welled  red 

From  the  heart  on  to  my  soul. 

Joy  has  been  forbidden  me 

By  my  dear  lord's  death 

And  that  I  must  for  evermore  forgo. 

Since  there  is  no  remedy, 

Except  to  fight  distress 

So  that  my  complaining  heart  is  full  of  woe. 

I  am  the  one  who  still  for  him  will  grieve, 

Reinmar  von  Hagenau  419 

For  this  most  hallowed  man  was  my  comfort  in  this  life. 

Now  he  is  gone.  What  should  I  do  here? 

Be  gracious  unto  him,  lord  God: 

For  a  more  virtuous  guest 

Did  never  in  your  house  appear." 


One  Thing  They  Say  Displeases  Me 
Ein  rede  der  liute  tuot  mir  we 

One  thing  they  say  displeases  me: 

Indeed,  it  almost  puts  me  in  a  rage. 

They  keep  on  asking  me  my  lady's  age, 

And  want  to  know,  how  old  is  she, 

Because  I  have  been  serving  her  so  long. 

They  say  it  to  incense  me. 

May  the  sweet  mistress  of  my  song 

For  that  ill-mannered  question  recompense  me! 


The  Day  on  Which  I  Took  the  Cross 
Des  tages  do  ich  daz  kriuze  nam 

The  day  on  which  I  took  the  cross, 

I  kept  my  thoughts  in  close  control, 

As  well  beseemed  that  holy  sign, 

And  as  a  pilgrim  pure  of  soul. 

I  hoped  I  might  so  bind  them  to  God's  will 

They  would  not  swerve,  nor  cease  His  service  to  fulfill. 

But  now  they  tend  to  break  away, 

As  they  were  wont,  and  wander  free. 

And  this  is  not  my  case  alone, 

But  troubles  other  men  than  me. 

42  o  Germany 

I  well  might  keep  my  vows  unscathed, 

But  that  unruly  thoughts  prevail: 

When  I  should  praise  the  God  to  whom 

I  have  sworn  service,  there  they  fail 

To  help  me  in  my  need,  and  jeopardize 

My  soul's  salvation,  harking  back  in  treacherous  wise 

To  those  old  joys  whereof  a  taste 

Lures  me  to  do  as  once  I  did. 

Maiden  and  Mother,  give  me  grace, 

For  these  I  cannot  all  forbid! 

Nor  would  I  quite  forbid  free  range 

To  thoughts  (they  have  their  own  domain), 

But  rather  give  them  leave  to  go 

Thither,  and  straight  return  again. 

So  may  they  bear  a  greeting  to  our  friends, 

Turn  back,  and  help  me  for  my  sin  to  make  amends, 

And  may  they  be  forgiven  all 

Wherewith,  before,  they  wrought  me  ill! 

Natheless,  I  fear,  they  are  not  to  trust, 

And  often  will  confound  me  still. 



If  I  Saw  One  Who  Could  Say  He  Was 

Come  from  Her 

Sach  ich  iemen  der  jaehe  er  waere  von  ir  komen 

If  I  saw  one  who  could  say  he  was  come  from  her, 

I  would  bless  him,  though  he  were  my  foe. 

Had  he  robbed  me  of  all  else,  her  messenger 

Should  for  this  his  punishment  forgo* 

He  who  but  speaks  her  name 

Has  me  to  friend 

From  now  to  a  full  year's  end, 

What  scathe  or  shame 

Albrecht  von  Johansdorf  421 

To  flay  me  he  had  wrought 
Should  be  as  nought. 



This  I  Know,  How  Love  Begins  to  Be 
Wie  sick  minne  hebt,  daz  wiz  ich  wol 

"This  I  know,  how  love  begins  to  be. 

How  love  ends,  I  do  not,  dare  not,  know. 

If  within  the  heart  and  soul  of  me, 

I  shall  feel  love's  kindling  joy  a-glow, 

Spare  me,  Lord,  the  parting,  which  I  deem 

Bitterest  thing  of  all. 

This  I  dread  beyond  the  heaviest  dream. 

'Where  two  loving  hearts  in  friendship  grow, 

And  their  loves  unite  in  one  strong  tie, 

None  shall  ever  part  them,  living  so, 

Till  the  day  when  one  of  them  must  die. 

So  with  me,  suppose  the  case  my  own. 

If  I  lost  my  friend, 

See,  I  should  be  utterly  alone. 

"Many  an  hour  is  needed,  ere  the  two 

Gently  weld  their  wills  and  minds  as  one. 

Should  the  end  thereof  be  bitter  rue, 

Such  I  ween,  were  welcome  news  to  none. 

That  be  far  from  me  as  my  own  death! 

And  if  someone  there  be 

Who  loves  me,  let  this  warn  him  to  keep  faith!" 

She  whom  serving  now,  I  serve  for  ever, 
Cannot  fail  these  words  to  understand. 
More  I  must  not  say :  this  brief  endeavor 
Made,  I  yield  me  to  her  kind  command. 
Of  her  grace  and  goodness  I  have  need, 

422  Germany 

And  if  she  will,  give  joy 

She  can,  and  if  not,  I  am  poor  indeed. 



I  Found  without  a  Guard 
Ich  vant  si  due  huote 

I  found  without  a  guard 

The  most  lovely  lady  standing  all  alone. 

Thus  spoke  his  one  so  good : 

"What  are  you  seeking  in  this  place  alone?" 

"Lady,  it  has  happened  thus." 

"Say  then,  why  are  you  come  here?  You  must  tell  me  this." 

"Love  sends  sorrow 

I  complain  to  you,  my  lady  sweet  and  kind." 

"Oh,  what  are  you  saying,  foolish  fellow? 

You  would  do  well  to  give  your  grieving  end." 

"Lady,  I  cannot  do  without  such  tears." 

"Then  I  will  never  listen  to  you  in  a  thousand  years." 

"No,  my  queen,  no! 

My  service  should  not  go  without  a  wage." 

"You  quite  senseless  grow, 

That  you  can  put  me  into  such  a  rage." 

"Lady  your  hate  will  make  me  as  one  dead." 

"Who  has  driven  you,  dearest  man,  to  such  a  need?" 

'Tour  beauty  has  done  that, 

Which  you  have,  most  lovely  lady." 

"Your  singing  is  so  sweet 

That  it  will  wound  my  constant  body." 

"Lady,  God  does  not  so  ordain." 

"If  I  should  listen,  yours  would  be  the  honor;  mine  the  shame." 

"Let  me  yet  be  pleased 

That  to  you  my  heart  was  always  kindly." 

Heinrich  von  Morungen  423 

'Tou  may  soon  be  wearied 

Of  hurling  words  against  me." 

"Does  my  speaking  seem  to  have  no  merit:1" 

'Tes,  it  has  given  strength  to  my  unwavering  spirit." 

"I  too  have  constancy, 

If  you  will  allow  me  to  be  true." 

"Be  advised  by  me, 

Give  up  what  I  can  never  grant  to  you." 

"Shall  I  be  heard  then  certainly?" 

"God  will  hear  you  elsewhere  what  you  desire  of  me." 

"Shall  then  my  singing  and 

All  my  service  come  to  naught?" 

"You  may  well  gain  your  end: 

You  will  not  go  without  reward." 

"Good  lady,  how  should  that  be  understood?" 

"That  you  are  more  worthy  for  it  and  your  spirit  is  renewed." 



On  the  Heath  on  a  Morning 
Ich  hort  uf  der  heide 

On  the  heath  on  a  morning 

I  heard  clear  singing  and  sweetest  song. 

Thence  came  without  warning 

Sharp  delight  and  thinking  long. 

To  her  in  a  throng 

Wishes  strong 

Haled  with  thong. 

I  found  her  a-dancing  to  her  song. 

Freed  from  mourning 

I  leapt  along. 

Alone  in  her  bower 

I  found  her  weeping  tears  like  rain; 

424  Germany 

For  only  that  hour 

Word  had  reached  her  that  I  was  slain. 

Less  hard  to  sustain 

Old  disdain 

Than  see  plain 

Her  joy  at  my  kneeling  there  again 


All  her  pain. 

Alone  on  the  tower 

I  found  her;  she  made  me  so  admire, 

With  ease  in  that  hour 

I  could  have  had  all  my  desire. 

It  seemed  the  entire 

World  in  fire 

Must  expire: 

Such  madness  her  spirit's  sweet  attire 

Had  the  power 

To  inspire. 

J.    B.    LEISHMAN 

Ah  Me,  Shall  I  No  Longer  See 
Owe,  sol  aber  mir  iemer  me 

Ah  me,  shall  I  no  longer  see, 
Shining  all  through  the  night, 
Whiter  than  snow  can  be, 
Her  body  lithe  and  light, 
Which  made  these  eyes  of  mine 
Unable  to  divine 
'Twas  not  the  bright  moonshine? 
Then  came  the  dawn. 

"Ah  me,  and  shall  we  never  see 
That  blessed  morrow  dawn, 
When,  as  night's  shadows  flee, 

Heinrich  von  Morungen  425 

We  shall  not  need  to  mourn 
'Alas,  now  it  is  day!' 
As  he  said  with  dismay 
When  last  by  me  he  lay. 
Then  came  the  dawn." 

Ah  me,  with  kisses  none  could  tell 
She  kissed  me  as  I  slept. 
Hotly  on  me  they  fell, 
Those  heavy  tears  she  wept. 
I  cheered  her,  though,  and  she 
Let  all  her  weeping  be 
And  flung  her  arms  round  me. 
Then  came  the  dawn. 

"Ah  me,  how  often  he  would  gaze 
Like  one  in  lunacy! 
The  coverlet  he'd  raise, 
Being  mad  to  see  poor  me 
With  nothing  on  at  all. 
It  was  most  wonderful 
How  that  could  never  pall. 
Then  came  the  dawn." 

J.    B.    LEISHMAN 

Torturing  Glimpses  and  Passions  Unruly 
Leitliche  blicke  und  grozliche  riuwe 

Torturing  glimpses  and  passions  unruly 
Have  wasted  my  heart  and  my  body  for  long, 
Yet  would  I  mourn  my  old  suffering  newly, 
Were  not  my  fear  of  the  scoffers  so  strong. 
If,  then,  I  sing  of  her, 

her  whom  I  can  never  wrong, 
Let  none  take  falsely  what  I  have  meant  truly, 
I  who  was  born  for  the  service  of  song. 

426  Germany 

Some  will  be  saying  "Now  hark  to  his  singing! 
How  could  he  so  if  he  really  were  sad?" 
Such  cannot  fathom  the  pain  that  is  wringing, 
Such  was  I  ever,  for  good  or  for  bad. 
When  I  stood  sadly  there, 

little  heed  of  me  she  had: 
Thus  it  was  sadness  that  set  me  a-singing, 
Sadness  that  skills  not  where  people  are  glad. 

The  joy  and  the  crown  of  my  heart  is  the  rarest 
Of  all  the  rare  women  I  ever  could  see. 
Fair  and  so  far  and  so  fair,  the  all-fairest 
Is  she,  and  it  glads  me  when  others  agree. 
All  the  world  shall  bow, 

for  her  beauty's  sake,  the  knee. 
Lady,  reward  me  at  last,  if  thou  darest; 
Else  were  such  praising  but  folly  in  me. 

When  standing  before  her  I  gaze  on  the  wonder 
Of  beauty  which  God  made  her  body  display, 
So  much  is  joined  which  elsewhere  is  asunder, 
There  I  most  gladly  for  ever  could  stay. 
Ah  me,  but  I  must 

leave  her,  to  my  great  dismay; 
For  all  of  a  sudden  she  vanishes  under 
A  dark  cloud  that  snatches  her  brightness  away. 

J.    B.    LEISHMAN 

Lady,  Wilt  Thou  Heal  My  Smart? 
Frouwe,  wilt  du  mich  genern 

Lady,  wilt  thou  heal  my  smart, 
So  let  thine  eyes  upon  me  gaze. 
I  can  no  longer  play  this  part; 
This  way  I  soon  must  end  my  days. 
I  am  so  sick,  so  sore  at  heart. 

Heinrich  von  Morungen  42,7 

Lady,  what  brought  me  to  this  plight? 
My  eyes  and  thy  red  lips  so  bright. 

Lady,  for  my  pain  have  some  care 
Before  indeed  my  days  must  end. 
One  word  speak  into  my  ear, 
Turn  things  about,  my  lovely  friend. 
Why  must  thou  always  say:  no,  no — 

No  no,  no  no,  no  no  no  ...  ? 
This  will  break  my  heart  in  two. 
Canst  thou  not  sometime  answer  yes, 

Yes  yes,  yes  yes,  yes  yes  yes? 
And  thus  my  heart  no  more  oppress! 



Many  a  Man  Has  Been  Bewitched  by  an  Elf 

Von  den  elben  wirt  entsen  vil  manic  man 

Many  a  man  has  been  bewitched  by  an  elf: 

So  am  I  bewitched  by  love  so  great 

By  the  best  friend  man  ever  took  to  himself. 

Yet  she  would  only  sneer  at  me  for  that, 

And  be  unfaithful  to  me,  may  she  then  take  vengeance, 

And  do  as  I  beg:  she  would  give  me  so  much  pleasure, 

That  my  life  would  end  for  such  delight. 

She  commands  and  is  mistress  in  my  heart 
And  is  more  lordly  than  I  can  ever  be: 
If  I  could  have  such  power  for  my  part 
That  she  in  faithfulness  would  stay  by  me 
For  three  whole  days  and  for  as  many  nights! 
Then  I  would  not  lose  my  strength  and  life. 
Alas  she  is  only  too  free  of  me. 

So  burn  in  me  the  flames  her  glances  start 
As  fire  kindles  tinder  that  is  dry, 

428  Germany 

And  her  coldness  to  me  wounds  my  heart 

As  water  forces  glowing  heat  to  die: 

And  her  proud  bearing,  her  beauty,  and  her  worth, 

And  the  wonder  that  is  spoken  of  her  virtues, 

All  that  is  evil  and  yet  good  to  me. 

Whenever  her  bright  eyes  may  turn  towards  me 
In  such  a  way  they  look  right  through  my  heart, 
Whoever  stands  between  and  so  annoys  me, 
He  must  see  his  happiness  depart, 
For  I  stand  and  wait  upon  my  lady 
Like  the  little  birds  upon  the  day: 
When  will  contentment  ever  be  my  part? 


She  Has  Wounded  Me  Right  Through  My  Heart 
Si  hot  mich  verwunt  reht  oldwich  mine  sele 

She  has  wounded  me  right  through  my  heart 

Into  the  deadly  pit, 

For  I  let  her  see  that  I  was  suffering  and  distraught 

For  her  mouth  so  sweet. 

Once  I  begged  of  it  if  only  it  would  make  her  serve  my  will 

That  I  might  steal 

One  sweet  kiss  from  her,  all  would  be  ever  well  with  me. 

How  I  begin  to  hate  her  rose-red  mouth  I  was  sure 

I  never  could  forget! 

Though  it  troubles  me  yet  that  a  little  while  before 

She  shunned  me,  so  obstinate. 

I  have  grown  so  tired  of  it,  that  I  would  sooner  live 

In  hell's  abyss 

And  burn  than  any  longer  serve  her  and  know  no  reason  for  it. 


Heinrich  von  Morungen  429 

Saw  You  the  Ladies 

Sack  ieman  die  fromven 

Saw  you  the  ladies 

Whom  you  may  gaze  at 

As  they  stand  by  the  window? 

The  beautiful  one 

All  she  has  done 

Is  give  me  sorrow. 

She  shines  as  the  sun  will  shine 

Towards  the  bright  morning. 
Who  before  was  in  hiding: 
Then  I  must  go  grieving: 
I  will  leave  her  now. 

Is  there  anyone  here 

Whose  senses  clear 

He  can  retain? 

Let  him  go  to  the  fair  one, 

who  with  her  crown 

Has  gone  away; 

That  she  may  come  to  comfort  me, 

Before  I  leave  this  life: 
Love  and  grief 
Together  will  lead 
Me  to  my  grave. 

You  should  write  down 
Small  on  the  stone 
Which  marks  my  grave, 
She  was  dear  to  me, 
Whom  she  would  not  see; 
Who  walks  above, 
May  read  this  message 

And  he  will  then  admit 
The  wrong  was  great 

43°  Germany 

She  did  commit 
Against  her  love. 



A  Lady  at  the  Watchman's  Song  Perceived 
Den  morgenhlic  hi  wahters  sange  erkos 

A  lady  at  the  watchman's  song  perceived 

Dawn's  gleam  as  secretly 

Within  her  noble  lover's  arms  she  lay. 

Whereat  she  lost  the  great  part  of  her  joy. 

Bright  eyes  could  then  not  help 

But  fill  with  tears.  "Alas!"  she  said,  "O  Day, 

Beasts  wild  and  tame  rejoice  at  you 

And  welcome  you,  save  I  alone.  What  will  become  of  me? 

No  longer  can  my  lover  here  remain 

With  me:  your  light  drives  him  away." 

The  day  with  might  pressed  in  through  all  the  panes. 

They  bolted  many  bolts: 

To  no  avail;  and  thence  their  sorrow  came. 

The  lady  clasped  her  lover  tightly  to  her 

And  their  eyes  rained  down  tears 

On  both  their  cheeks.  Then  her  lips  said  to  him: 

"One  bodv  and  two  hearts  have  we, 

Unparted  fares  our  faithfulness,  one  with  the  other. 

My  great  love  is  now  utterly  laid  waste 

Unless  you  come  to  me  and  I  to  you." 

The  grieving  man  then  took  his  farewell  thus: 

Their  fair  skins  in  their  smoothness 

Came  closer  still.  And  so  the  day  appeared: 

Eyes  all  in  tears  and  a  sweet  lady's  kiss. 

And  there  they  so  entwined 

Their  lips,  their  breasts,  their  arms,  their  legs 

all  white, 

Wolfram  von  Eschenbach  431 

That  a  shield-painter  picturing  them 

Just  as  they  lay  in  that  embrace  would  have  the 

perfect  model. 
And  yet  their  two  loves  suffered  grief  enough. 
They  gave  and  took  of  love  in  all  delight. 


It  Has  Thrust  Its  Talons  Through  the 
Morning  Clouds 


Sine  kldwen  (lurch  die  wolken  sint  gestagen 

"It  has  thrust  its  talons  through  the  morning  clouds, 

It  rises  up  with  mighty  strength, 

I  see  it  change  to  grey,  as  day  will  when  it  dawns, 

The  day,  that  from  this  worthy  man 

Would  take  away  my  company, 

Whom  I  by  night  so  carefully  let  in. 

I'll  bring  him  hence  now  if  I  can : 

Great  virtue  in  him  bade  me  do  as  much. 

Watchman,  you  sing  that  which  takes  many  joys  from  me 

And  makes  my  grief  the  greater. 

Tidings  you  bring  that  are,  alas!  unwelcome  to  me 

Mornings  toward  the  break  of  day. 

These  you  should  keep  in  silence  from  me. 

To  your  good  faith  I  thus  command: 

I  will  reward  you  if  I  can. 

Then  my  beloved  can  remain  here  with  me." 

"He  must  be  up  and  gone,  and  that  without  delay. 

Take  your  farewell  of  him,  sweet  Lady. 

Let  him  love  you  with  such  secrecy  henceforth 

That  he  may  keep  his  life  and  honor. 

He  has  so  trusted  my  good  faith 

That  I  would  surely  bring  him  back. 

43 2  Germany 

The  day  has  come:  it  was  night  when 

You  won  him  from  me  with  embrace  and  kiss." 

"Sing  now,  Watchman,  what  you  will,  but  leave  him  here 

Who  has  brought  love  and  love  received. 

By  your  song  he  and  I  alike  are  terrified: 

If  now  the  morning  star  does  not 

Rise  over  him  who  came  for  love, 

And  if  the  daylight  does  not  shine, 

You  still  have  often  taken  him 

From  my  white  arms — though  never  from  my  heart." 

At  the  gleam  that  daylight  darted  through  the  panes, 

And  as  the  watchman  sang  his  warning, 

She  could  not  fail  to  fear  for  him  who  was  with  her. 

She  pressed  her  bosom  to  his  breast. 

The  knight  no  wise  forgot  his  valor 

(The  watchman's  song  kept  him  from  that); 

Farewell  that  close  and  closer  came 

Gave  them  with  kiss  and  otherwise  reward  of  love. 


The  Lament  for  the  Love  of  Heroes 
Der  helden  minne  ir  klage 

The  lament  for  the  love  of  heroes 
You  always  sang  as  the  sun  rose, 
The  sour  after  the  sweet. 
He  who  loves  received 

And  welcome  of  women,  though  he  must  soon  set  forth, 
As  you  forewarned  them  both,  and  then 

The  morning  star  rose,  watchman,  be  silent,  sing  not  of  that 


He  who  lies  or  lay 

Beside  his  love  in  habit's  way 

Wolfram  von  Eschenbach  433 

Shame  and  concealment  scorning, 

Need  not  in  fear  of  morning 

Take  himself  off,  he  may  await  the  day: 

None  need  lead  him  away  to  save  his  life. 

Such  love  can  still  be  given  by  his  own  sweet  wife. 


Bursting  Leaves,  Flowers  Opening 
Ursfrinc  hluomen,  louf  uz  dringen 

Bursting  leaves,  flowers  opening 

And  the  air  of  May  give  back  their  old  song  to  the  birds: 

There  are  new  songs  I  can  sing, 

When  the  frost  is  lying,  good  lady,  even  without  your  rewards. 

The  wood-singing  birds  and  their  cry 

No  longer  rang  in  the  ear  when  half  the  summer  had  gone  by. 

The  flowers  that  sparkle  with  light 

Shall  be  made  brighter  by  the  drops  of  dew, 

where  they  are  clinging: 
The  birds  that  are  so  fine  and  bright, 
All  the  Maytime  rock  their  children  with  their  singing. 
The  nightingale  was  never  still: 
But  now  I  am  awake  and  sing  in  the  valley  and  on  the  hill. 

My  song  will  seek  your  kindness, 

Gentle  lady:  now  help  me,  since  I  have  so  great  a  need. 

Your  reward  should  quit1  my  service, 

Which  I  beg  and  beg  again  till  I  am  dead. 

Let  me  take  comfort  from  you,  then, 

That  my  long  sorrowing  may  have  an  end. 

Sweet  lady,  can  my  service  have  success, 

If  your  power  to  help  will  make  me  so  content, 

That  my  grief  will  surely  pass 

1  In  the  archaic  sense  of  requite. 

434  Germany 

And  my  desiring  find  with  you  its  longed  for  end"? 

Your  gentle  ways  command  my  song, 

Day  by  day  I  sing  to  you  both  short  and  long. 

Dear  lady,  your  sweet  goodness 

And  your  charming  anger  rob  me  of  my  joy  and  calm. 

Will  you  bring  my  heart  some  solace? 

For  one  kindly  word  alone  from  you  will  be  my  balm. 

Make  an  end  of  my  lament, 

Then  the  days  I  have  to  live  will  be  so  gladly  spent. 


From  Titurel 

I  Have  These  Many  Evenings  Watched  for  My 

Ich  hdn  nach  liehem  vriunde  vil  dbende  al  min 


"I  have  these  many  evenings  watched  for  my  beloved 

From  out  my  window  over  heath  by  road  and  shining  meadow, 

And  all  in  vain :  he  never  comes  to  me. 

For  this  my  eyes  must  dearly  pay  with  tears 

for  my  beloved's  love. 

"Then  I  go  from  the  window  to  the  battlements 

To  look  to  eastward  and  to  westward  for  a  glimpse  of  him 

Who  has  this  long  time  so  constrained  my  heart. 

I  may  be  reckoned  old,  not  young,  among  the  ones 

who  yearn. 

"I  journey  for  a  while  upon  the  raging  waves; 

I  gaze  far  out,  for  over  thirty  miles  I  gaze 

To  hear,  if  such  is  possible,  some  word 

So  I  may  be  rid  of  my  sorrow  for  my  fair  young  friend. 

Walther  von  der  Vogelweide  435 

"What  has  become  of  my  glittering  joy,  and  how  is  it 
That  my  high  spirits  have  departed  from  my  heart:1 

From  both  of  us 
A  sigh  must  come  which  I  thought  I  alone  would  suffer. 
Yearning,  I  know,  will  drive  him  back  to  me, 
However  he  avoids  me  now." 



Under  the  Lime  Tree 
Under  der  linden 

Under  the  lime  tree 
On  the  heath 
There  our  bed  was, 
There  you  can  see 
So  fair  beneath, 

Broken  flowers  and  flattened  grass. 
Before  the  forest  in  the  valley, 
The  nightingale  sang  sweetly. 

I  had  come 
To  the  meadow: 
My  love  had  come  before. 
There  I  was  given  such  welcome, 
Holy  Virgin!  oh 
I  am  content  for  evermore. 
A  thousand  times  did  we  not  kiss? 
See  how  red  my  mouth  is. 

There  he  made 
So  rich  and  fair 
A  bed  from  blooms. 
There  laughter  stayed, 

436  Germany 

Is  still  heard  there, 

When  somebody  the  same  way  comes. 

On  the  roses,  then,  he  may, 


See  where  my  head  lay. 

That  he  lay  by  me, 
If  it  were  known 

(Now  God  forbid!),  I'd  be  ashamed. 
What  he  did  with  me, 
Will  be  known  to  none 
Except  the  two  of  us  unnamed, 
And  a  little  bird: 
Wrio  will  be  the  silent  third. 



O  Where  Have  They  Vanished  All  My  Years!1 
O  weh,  wte  sind  entschwunden  alle  meine  Jahr! 

0  where  have  they  vanished  all  my  years! 
Have  I  dreamed  my  life  away,  or  is  it  real? 

Did  I  believe  in  a  world  that  was  not  really  there? 

1  have  slept  till  now  and  have  been  unaware. 
Now  I  have  woken,  I  do  not  understand 

What  was  once  familiar  to  me  as  the  back  of  my  hand. 

The  people  and  the  land,  there  where  I  lived  from  childhood, 

Are  now  as  strange  to  me  as  if  they  were  nothing  but  falsehood. 

Those  who  were  my  companions,  have  grown  heavy  and  old. 

The  field  lies  fallow,  and  the  trees  are  felled. 

Only  the  water  flows  unchanging  as  before, 

Surely  my  misfortune  can  never  be  more. 

1  This  poem  was  written  as  part  of  the  campaign  to  raise  an  army  to 
go  on  a  crusade:  it  was  written  for  the  Emperor  Friedrich  11,  who  had 
heen  excommunicated  for  his  failure  to  keep  his  promise  to  undertake  a 
crusade— hence  the  "unfriendly  letters  from  Rome." 

Walther  von  der  Vogelweide  437 

Many  who  knew  me  well,  now  greet  me  wearily. 
The  world  shows  everywhere  only  hostility. 
When  I  remember  how  many  a  wonderful  day, 
Is  lost  to  me  as  if  plunged  deep  in  the  sea, 
Evermore  I  grieve. 

O  how  pitifully  the  boys  and  girls  behave 

Who  in  time  past  were  courteous  and  grave! 

They  care  for  nothing  but  sorrow:  o  why  is  this  their  way? 

Wherever  I  turn  in  the  world  no  one  is  gay : 

Dancing,  laughing,  singing  are  acts  of  melancholy: 

No  Christian  ever  saw  men  in  such  misery. 

Now  see  the  women  wear  their  jewels  anyhow: 

The  proud  knights  are  dressed  like  men  from  the  plow. 

We  have  unfriendly  letters  sent  to  us  from  Rome, 

We  are  allowed  to  sorrow  there  is  no  joy  at  home. 

My  heart  is  weary  (we  lived  so  well  those  years), 

For  instead  of  laughter  I  must  choose  tears. 

Even  the  wild  birds  are  grieved  by  our  lament: 

Is  it  any  wonder  all  my  delight  is  spent? 

O  fool,  what  do  I  say  in  my  rage  and  wickedness? 

Who  follows  earthly  pleasures,  has  lost  heaven's  blessedness, 

Evermore  I  grieve. 

0  how  we  are  surrounded  by  sweetness  everywhere! 

1  see  the  gall  hovering  at  the  honey's  core: 
Outwardly  the  world  is  fair,  white,  green  and  red, 
And  inwardly  so  black,  dark  as  death. 

Let  him  be  comforted,  who  has  been  led  astray: 

The  smallest  penance  takes  the  greatest  sin  away. 

Think  of  this,  knights:  it  concerns  you  all. 

You  wear  the  bright  helmets  and  the  hard  rings  of  mail, 

The  strong  shields  and  the  dedicated  sword. 

If  only  I  deserved  this  honor,  Lord! 

Then,  poor  and  needy,  I  would  earn  rich  recompense. 

I  would  not  think  of  lands  or  nobles'  opulence. 

I  would  wear  forever  that  hallowed  crown : 

The  mercenary  with  his  spear  might  have  won. 

If  I  could  make  the  longed  for  journey  over  the  sea, 

438  Germany 

I  would  sing  gladly,  then,  and  nevermore  grieve, 
Nevermore  grieve. 


^  I 

Children  Won't  Do  What  They  Ought 
Nietnan  kan  mit  gerten 

Children  won't  do  what  they  ought 
If  you  beat  them  with  a  rod. 
Children  thrive,  children  grow 
When  taught  by  words,  and  not  a  blow. 
Children  thrive,  children  grow — 
If  you  beat  them  with  a  rod 
Children  won't  do  what  they  ought. 

Please  be  careful  with  your  tongue. 
That's  good  advice  when  you  are  young. 
Push  the  bolt  and  lock  the  door — 
No  rude  swearwords  any  more. 
Push  the  bolt  and  lock  the  door — 
That's  good  advice  when  you  are  young. 
Please  be  careful  with  your  tongue. 

Please  be  careful  with  your  eyes. 

They  show  what's  foolish  and  what's  wise. 

Let  them  see  what's  good  and  right, 

And  keep  evil  out  of  sight. 

Let  them  see  what's  good  and  right, 

They  show  what's  foolish  and  what's  wise. 

Please  be  careful  with  your  eyes. 

Please  be  careful  with  your  ears. 
A  fool  heeds  everything  he  hears. 
Evil  words,  words  unkind 
Will  do  harm  to  a  child's  mind. 
Evil  words,  words  unkind — 

Walther  von  der  Vogelweide  439 

A  fool  heeds  everything  he  hears. 
Please  be  careful  with  your  ears. 

Please  be  careful  with  all  three. 
Sad  to  say,  they're  much  too  free. 
Sometimes  for  your  peace  of  mind, 
It's  best  to  be  deaf,  dumb,  and  blind. 
Sometimes  for  your  peace  of  mind 
Sad  to  say,  they're  much  too  free. 
Please  be  careful  with  all  three. 



I  Sat  Cross-Legged  upon  a  Stone1 
Ich  saz  uf  eime  steine 

I  sat  cross-legged  upon  a  stone, 

And  put  my  elbow  on  my  knee  bone: 

I  cupped  my  chin  within  my  hand. 

If  only  I  could  understand 

This  world  and  how  therein  to  live: 

But  no  advice  that  I  could  give 

Would  show  how  three  things  could  be  won, 

And  guarantee  the  loss  of  none. 

Wealth  and  fame  are  two, 

And  each  to  each  will  evil  do: 

The  third  is  God's  good  will, 

Which  must  the  others  far  excel. 

I'd  keep  it  under  lock  and  key. 

But  it  can  never  be, 

That  worldly  goods  and  place 

Together  with  God's  grace 

1  This  poem  was  written  in  1 198.  The  Emperor  Henry  VI  died  in  1 197, 
leaving  a  son  who,  since  he  was  still  a  child,  could  not  he  elected  em- 
peror. Civil  war  broke  out  between  the  supporters  of  Henry's  brother 
Philip,  Duke  of  Swabia,  and  the  supporters  of  Otto,  son  of  Henry  the 
Lion.  The  dispute  lasted  until  1208  when  Philip  was  murdered  and 
Otto  was  crowned  emperor  in  Rome. 

44°  Germany 

Into  our  heart  can  come  and  rest. 

The  paths  have  all  been  lost: 

Dishonesty  is  out  for  prey, 

Violence  travels  on  the  way: 

Peace  and  justice  bear  a  wound. 

The  three  can  have  no  safety,  if  these  two  are  not  sound. 


Whoso,  Lord  God,  Being  Bold  to  Say 

Swe  cine  vorhte,  herre  got 

Whoso,  Lord  God,  being  bold  to  say 

Thy  Ten  Commandments,  finds  a  way 

To  break  them  for  true  love  has  failed  to  care. 

Thy  Fatherhood  most  men  confess. 

He  who  regardeth  me  as  less 

Than  brother  gives  no  meaning  to  that  prayer. 

Of  the  same  substance  we  are  made, 

We  grow  alike,  our  daily  bread 

Passes  into  our  bodies,  whence  we  thrive. 

Who  then  can  tell  the  master  from  the  man, 

When  their  bare  bones,  by  worms  bereft 

Of  differing  flesh,  alone  are  left, 

Though  he  had  known  then  both  full  well  alive. 

Christian,  Jew  and  Paynim  serve  His  plan, 

From  Whom  all  living  wonders  life  derive. 


Winter  Has  Done  Us  Great  Harm  Everywhere 
Uns  hat  der  winter  geschadet  iiher  at 

Winter  has  done  us  great  harm  everywhere. 
Field  and  forest  are  withered  and  bare, 
Hushed  every  voice  that  made  melody  there. 

Walther  von  der  Vogelweide  441 

O  to  see  girls  playing  ball  on  the  fair 

Open  road,  and  to  hear  songs  of  birds  in  the  air! 

Would  I  might  sleep  until  winter  were  o'er! 
Waking,  I  grieve,  and  my  anger  is  sore 
At  his  wide  sovereignty  dreary  and  hoar. 
May  will  most  surely  defeat  him  once  more. 
Flowers  I  shall  pluck  where  the  grass  lieth  frore. 


Lady  World,  You  Tell  the  Devil 

Vro  Welt,  ir  suit  dem  wirte  sagen 

Lady  world,  you  tell  the  devil 

I  have  settled  my  account: 

I  have  atoned  for  all  my  guilt; 

He  can  write  off  the  last  amount. 

His  debtors  all  do  well  to  grieve. 

I'd  rather  borrow  from  a  jew,  than  owe  it  to  the  devil  that  I  live. 

He's  silent  until  judgment  day: 

Then  he  demands  a  surety 

Which  even  he  cannot  repay. 

"Walther,  there  is  no  need  for  anger: 
You  should  remain  with  me  on  earth. 
Think  how  I  have  given  you  shelter, 
Whatever  you  asked  there  was  no  dearth, 
Whenever  you  begged  I  was  glad  to  give. 
That  you  seldom  begged  from  me  was  my  deepest  grief. 
Think  how  well  your  life  is  spent: 
If  you  deny  my  words  are  true, 
You  will  never  be  content." 

Lady  world,  I've  fed  too  well : 
It  is  time  that  I  was  weaned. 
Your  gentleness  has  used  me  ill, 

442  Germany 

The  pleasures  that  it  gives  are  sweet. 

When  I  looked  into  your  eyes 

The  wonder  of  your  beauty  could  always  take  me  by  surprise: 

Yet  within  so  much  decays 

I  know  the  horror  that's  behind  vou, 

And  I  will  curse  you  all  my  days. 

"Since  you  will  not  change  your  mind, 
Do  one  thing  only  that  I  say: 
Remember  many  days  were  kind, 
And  now  and  then  just  look  my  way 
When  there  is  nothing  else  beguiles." 
I  would  do  so  most  willingly,  if  I  did  not  fear  your  wiles 
That  no  man  can  yet  defeat. 
Lady,  God  give  you  then,  goodnight: 
I  will  set  forth  to  my  retreat. 



Who  Slays  the  Lion?  Who  Slays  the  Giant? 
Wer  sleht  den  lewen,  wer  sleht  den  risen? 

Who  slays  the  lion?  Who  slays  the  giant? 

Who  conquers  both  is  self-reliant, 

He  can  control  himself  and  tame 

His  limbs  from  wildness  into  calm. 

False  shame  and  manners  borrowed  for  a  day 

Only  to  win  a  stranger's  smile 

May  shine  forth  brightly  for  a  while: 

But  the  gilt's  soon  rubbed  away. 


Neidhart  von  Reuental  443 


And  If  Some  Place  I  Have  a  Home 
Und  han  ich  indert  heime 

And  if  some  place  I  have  a  home, 

Where  may  it  be? 

The  swallow  with  a  speck  of  loam 

Has  more  than  me. 

For  this  is  all  she  needs  to  form 

A  cot  to  last  her  through  the  summer  warm 

God  give  me  a  house  with  sheltering  roof 

By  Lengenbach,  and  proof 

Against  the  winter's  storm! 


I  Never  Saw  the  Field 
Ine  gesach  die  heide  nie  baz  gestalt 

I  never  saw  the  field 
In  lovelier  bloom. 
Sunrays  the  green  leaves 
Of  the  wood  illume. 

With  joy,  in  both  we  hail  the  May's  advance. 
Maidens,  now  take  hands, 
And  merrily  haste  to  meet  the  summertime  in 

festive  dance! 

Praise  unto  May  is  given 

By  many  a  tongue! 

From  many  a  bank  and  brae 

The  flowers  have  sprung, 

Where  but  a  short  while  since  no  flowers  had  been. 

444  Germany 

The  budding  limes  are  green, 

And  gentle  maids,  as  you  have  heard  just  now, 

in  the  dance  are  seen. 

They  are  carefree  and  filled 
With  joy's  excess. 
You  maidens  clothed  with  charm 
And  loveliness, 

Adorn  yourselves,  and  let  Bavarians  praise, 
Let  Franks  and  Swabians  gaze 
Enraptured!  Lace  the  dainty  smocks  you  don  for 


'Tor  whom  shall  I  adorn  me?" 
A  maiden  said. 

"The  drowsy  fools  see  nothing! 
My  hopes  are  dead. 

Honor  and  joy  the  world  accounteth  strange; 
The  men  seek  nought  but  change; 
Women  of  whom  they  might  be  proud  come  not 

within  their  range." 

"Not  so,"  her  playmate  answered. 
'We  shall  not  need 
To  say  farewell  to  gladness. 
Of  men,  indeed, 

Many  there  are  who  value  women's  best 
And  comeliest, 

And  I  am  wooed  by  one  who  can  drive  sorrow  from 

the  breast." 

"Let  me  behold  that  worth 
To  me  unknown! 
The  girdle  that  I  wear 
Shall  be  thine  own. 

Tell  me  the  name  of  him  who  loveth  thee 
With  such  fine  constancy! 
I  dreamt  last  night  thy  thoughts  were  fixed  on 

one  of  fair  degree." 

Neidhart  von  Reuental  445 

"He  whom  they  call  the  Squire  of  Riuwental. 
Whose  song  is  the  delight 
Of  one  and  all, 

He  is  my  friend.  Nor  shall  he  lack  reward. 
For  him,  my  heart's  adored, 

I  will  array  me.  Hence,  and  come  along,  the  dance 

is  toward!" 


The  Season's  Here! 
Diu  zit  ist  hie 

The  season's  here! 

I  have  seen  none  lovelier  this  many  a  year. 
No  more  does  winter  cold  and  keen 
Afflict  the  heart,  rejoicing  and  serene 
Among  the  woods  so  green. 

May  comes  bringing 

Flowers  abundant  and  the  mirth  of  birds  a-singing. 

See  the  field  in  bright  array 

Pranked,  with  hues  so  beautiful  and  gay 

Its  cares  are  driven  away! 

"Come  now  with  me, 

Playmate,  and  let  us  haste  to  the  linden  tree! 
There  shalt  thou  find  what  most  thine  eyes 
Desire:  recall  last  season's  memories! 
This  game  is  worth  a  prize." 

"Now  let  me  don 

My  dress,  for  I  am  eager  to  be  gone 
To  join  the  dance  and  join  the  play. 
Not  a  word,  dear  Irmengart,  I  pray! 
He  will  be  there  today." 

446  Germany 

Quicker  than  thought, 

From  the  press  her  gayest  gown  was  brought. 

Swiftly  was  the  girl  arrayed. 

"To  the  leafy  linden  tree  my  steps  are  swayed. 

My  troubles  are  allayed!" 



Among  Sweet  Tones  in  Forest  Bowers 
In  dem  walde  sileze  doene 

Among  sweet  tones  in  forest  bowers 
songs  of  litde  birds  are  gay; 
on  the  meadow  lovely  flowers 
blossom  in  the  warmth  of  May. 
Now  sweet  joy  my  heart  redeems 
and  gratefully  my  breast  o'erflows 
for  the  wealth  of  love  it  knows — 
even  as  the  poor  are  rich  in  dreams. 

Hope  it  is  beyond  all  measure 

which  for  her  sweet  self  I  dare; 

may  I  win  this  priceless  treasure, 

be  forever  free  from  care. 

The  wish  alone  has  brought  me  gladness; 

may  God  also  grant  to  me 

that  my  dream  fulfilled  be 

which  so  well  has  banished  sadness. 

May  she,  sweet  one,  false  one  never, 
from  deception  wholly  free, 
let  me  hold  this  dear  hope  ever, 
or  until  it's  granted  me. 
Be  this  joy  of  long  duration; 
let  me  yet  in  hope  awake; 

Mechthild  von  Magdeburg  447 

do  not  from  my  yearning  take 

this  precious  dream,  my  consolation. 

Of  all  my  joys,  I  most  receive 

from  wishes  and  from  tenuous  thought. 

May  her  goodness  not  deceive 

but  grant  reward,  as  lovers  ought, 

at  least  to  understand  me  more 

and  give  me  of  her  own  sweet  bliss 

a  little  portion,  knowing  this 

will  not  diminish  her  own  store. 

Blessed  May,  it's  you  alone 

who  bring  the  world  its  wholesome  curing; 

you  and  all  the  world,  as  one, 

bring  joy  almost  beyond  enduring. 

How  could  you  do  such  bounteous  giving 

without  my  very  precious  dear? 

for  it  is  she  keeps  hope  so  near, 

the  hope  for  which  I  go  on  living. 



Lord  'Tis  Said  That  from  the  World 
Herre,  es  heizzt  mins  herzen  lust 

Lord,  'tis  said  that  from  the  world 

I  have  held  my  heart's  delight, 

Have  kept  it  myself 

And  other  creatures  all  denied. 

I  may  no  further  carry  it — 

Lord,  where  shall  my  delight  be  laid? 

Nowhere  shalt  thy  delight  be  laid 
Save  in  my  Godly  heart, 
And  on  my  human  breast; 

448  Germany 

There  only  art  thou  blessed 
And  with  my  spirit  kissed. 


Most  Gladly  Would  I  Die  of  Love 
Ich  stiirbe  gem  aus  Minne 

Most  gladly  would  I  die  of  Love,  if  that  might  be; 
For  whom  I  love  'twas  mine  with  my  lit  eyes  to  see 
Him  standing  in  my  soul — my  Love  in  me. 

R.    G.    L.    BARRETT 


Ails  a  Human  Heart 

Wie  der  Liebeswunde  gesunde 

Ails  a  human  heart 
From  true  Love's  aching  dart, 
For  such  there  is  no  healing  art, 
From  those  selfsame  lips  apart, 
Whence  came  that  eager  smart. 

R.    G.    L.    BARRETT 

Dearest  Love  of  God,  I  Pray  Thee,  Evermore 
Enfold  My  Soul 

Eta,  liebe  Gottesminne 

Dearest  Love  of  God,  I  pray  Thee,  evermore  enfold  my  soul, 

My  death  it  were  with  deepest  woe, 

If  of  Thee  I  must  be  free. 

I  pray  Thee,  Love,  O  let  me  not  grow  cool; 

For  dead  are  all  the  works  I  do, 

Der  Wilde  Alexander  449 

May  I  not  feel  Thee. 

O  Love,  dost  sweetly  bring  to  bitter  grief, 

To  God's  own  children  givest  teaching  and  relief. 

O  strong  Love-bond!  Thy  hand  is  fond, 

With  binding  power,  to  hold  both  young  and  old. 

R.    G.    L.    BARRETT 


Years  Back  When  We  Were  Children 

Hie  vox  do  wir  hinder  waxen 

Years  back  when  we  were  children 

and  at  the  stage  of  running 

in  gangs  about  the  meadows — 

here  to  this  one,  there  to  that  one — 

we  picked  up  violets 

on  lucky  days: 

there  you  can  now  see  cattle  gadding  about. 

I  still  remember  hunching 

ankle  deep  in  violets, 

squabbling  over  which  bunches  were  fairest. 

Our  childishness  was  obvious — 

we  ran  dancing  rounds 

with  our  new  green  wreaths. 

So  time  passes. 

Here  we  ran  swilling  strawberries 

from  oak  and  pine, 

over  hedges,  over  turnstyles, 

as  long  as  day  was  burning  down. 

Then  a  gardener 

rushed  from  an  arbor: 

"O.K.  now,  children,  run  home." 

We  came  out  in  spots 

those  yesterdays,  when  we  stuffed  on  strawberries; 

45°  Germany 

it  was  just  a  childish  game  to  us. 

Often  we  heard 

our  herdsman 

hooing  and  warning  us; 

"Children,  the  woods  are  alive  wth  snakes." 

One  of  the  children,  breaking 
through  the  sword  grass,  grew  white 
and  shouted,  "Children,  a  snake 
ran  in  there.  He  got  our  pony. 
She'll  never  get  well. 
I  wish  that  snake 
would  go  to  hell." 

'Well  then,  get  out  of  the  woods! 

If  you  don't  hurry  away  quickly, 

I'll  tell  you  what  will  happen — 

if  you  don't  scurry  away 

from  the  wood  by  daylight, 

you'll  lose  yourself; 

your  pleasure  will  end  in  bawling. 

Do  you  know  how  five  virgins 

dawdled  in  the  meadows, 

till  the  king  slammed  his  dining  room  door? 

Their  shouting  and  shame  were  outrageous, 

their  jailer  tore  everything  off 

down  to  their  birthday  suits; 

they  stood  like  milk  cows  without  any  clothes." 



There  Comes  a  Ship  All  Laden 
Es  kutifpt  ein  schiff  geladen 

There  comes  a  ship  all  laden 
Right  up  to  highest  board. 

Hans  Rosenpliit  451 

It  brings  the  Son  of  the  Father, 
The  true  eternal  Word. 

Upon  a  calm  still  ocean 
The  little  ship  is  borne 
It  brings  us  richest  treasure, 
The  noble  Heaven-Queen. 

Maria,  thou  Rose  so  precious, 
A  branch  of  everv  bliss 
Thou  lovely  blossoming  crocus1 
O  free  us  from  our  sins! 

Quietly  the  ship  doth  move, 
Rich  burden  unsurpassed, 
The  sail  is  tender  Love 
The  Holy  Ghost  the  mast. 



He  Who  Scrubs  a  Raven  White 
Wer  baden  wil  ein  Raben  weiss 

He  who  scrubs  a  raven  white 

And  works  at  this  with  all  his  might — 

Who  wants  the  sun  to  parch  the  snow, 

A  chest  to  lock  up  winds  that  blow, 

To  sell  bad  luck,  or  so  he  hopes, 

Who  wants  to  bind  all  fools  with  ropes, 

To  shear  bald  men,  though  they're  not  hairy — 

He  loves  what  is  unnecessary. 


1  A   play   upon   words   in   German    cannot    he    reproduced'    the    word 
"crocus"  also  means  "timeless,  heyond  time."— Translator's  Note. 

452  Germany 


Nuns'  Drinking  Song 
Trienklied  der  Nonnen 

Let  us  sing  and  all  be  gay 

In  the  roses 
With  Jesus  on  this  happy  day 
Who  knows  how  long  we're  here  to  stay 

In  the  roses 

Let  the  wine  of  Jesus  flow 

In  the  roses 
That  is  where  we  all  should  go 
Then  with  joy  our  hearts  will  glow 

In  the  roses 

For  us  He'll  pour  out  cypress  wine 

In  the  roses 
We'll  all  be  drunken  from  the  wine 
And  from  our  love,  sweet  and  benign 

In  the  roses 

Let  us  raise  our  glasses  high 

In  the  roses 
Let's  drink  up,  and  drain  them  dry 
The  wind  is  the  Holy  Ghost  who  sighs 

In  the  roses 

Let  the  wine  be  passed  around 

In  the  roses 
Soon  we  will  be  homeward  bound 
Filled  with  the  timeless  joy  we've  found 

In  the  roses 



Very  little  remains  of  Germany's  lyric  poetry  prior  to  the  twelfth 
century,  although  there  actually  existed  a  substantial  body  of 
elegies,  heroic  poems  and  gnomic  and  erotic  verse.  Included 
here  are  such  remnants  as  The  Lay  of  Hildebrand  (Hilde- 
hrandslied  [c.  700]),  which  illustrates  the  rugged  attitude  of 
Germanic  tribesmen  moving  into  the  collapsing  world  of  the 
Roman  Empire;  and  several  spells,  which  reflect  the  pre- 
Christian  mentality  endeavoring  to  control  the  forces  of  Nature 
by  magical  means.  From  the  charming  "Thou  Art  Mine,  I  Am 
Thine"  a  tender  note  seems  to  announce,  like  a  propitious 
dawn,  the  arrival  of  the  minnesang — the  love  poets. 

albrecht  von  johansdorf  (fl.  1197),  a  Bavarian 
minnesinger  of  noble  descent,  served  under  the  Bishop  of 
Passau  and  participated  in  a  crusade,  perhaps  that  of  1197. 
Among  his  forty-three  poems,  there  are  sixteen  songs  and  two 
crusading  songs — reflecting  his  personal  experiences  and  ad- 
mirable poetic  gifts. 

dietmar  von  aist  (c.  1 1 50-1 170),  an  Austrian  noble- 
man from  Mauthausen,  a  town  by  the  Aist,  a  tributary  of  the 
Danube,  lived  through  the  transition  period  between  the  some- 
what crude  Austro-Bavarian  verse  and  the  newer  courtly  con- 
vention of  the  minnesang.  In  addition  to  the  lovely  "A  Lady 
Stood  Alone,"  in  which  he  used,  as  did  Der  Kiirenherg  (q.v.)r 
alternate  stanzas  for  knight  and  lady,  he  is  remembered  for  his 
"Sleepest  Thou  Yet,  My  Sweeting?"  the  oldest  alba  (Tagelied*) 
in  the  German  language. 

friedrich  von  hausen  (c.  1150-1190),  aRhenish 
minnesinger,  was  born  toward  the  middle  of  the  twelfth  cen- 
tury near  Kreuznach,  in  Worms.  He  served  the  Archbishop  of 
Mayence  in  1 1 75  and  when  a  decade  later  Henry  VI  went  to 
Italy  he  formed  part  of  his  retinue.  Later  he  accompanied 
Frederick  Barbarosa  in  the  third  crusade  ( 1 1 89)  and  was  killed 
at  the  battle  of  Philomelium  (Syria)  on  May  6,  1190.  He  left 

454  Germany 

some  fiftv-five  poems  which  despite  their  echoing  at  times 
Bernart  de  Ventadorn  (q.v.)  and  Conon  de  Bethune  (q.v.), 
show  him  to  be  a  highly  sensitive,  inspired  and  original  poet. 

heinrich  von  morungen  (d.  1 222),  born  in  the 
Sangerhauser  region  of  Thuringia,  served  in  the  court  of 
Dietrich  von  Meissen,  whom  he  accompanied  in  1197  to  the 
Holy  Land.  He  retired  to  the  monastery  of  St.  Thomas  in  Leip- 
zig where  he  died  and  where  he  is  buried.  In  the  thirty-eight 
pieces  extant — lieder,  albas,  pastourelles — the  troubadour  in- 
fluence (especially  Bernart  de  Ventadorn's  [q.v.])  is  discernible, 
but  nonetheless  his  masterful  control  of  his  art,  his  rich  imagery, 
his  expressive  language,  places  him  as  the  greatest  of  the  min- 
nesingers, with  the  one  exception,  perhaps,  of  Walther  von  der 
Vogelweide  (q.v.). 

kurenberg,  der  von(c  i  150-1 160)  derived  from  the 
Austrian  family  of  the  Kiirenberger  that  lived  near  Linz,  on 
the  Danube.  Fifteen  of  his  poems  have  been  preserved.  Because 
of  his  Nibelungenlied  type  of  stanza,  totally  free  from  Provencal 
influences,  some  critics  have  wanted  to  attribute  to  him  the 
German  epic  poem,  the  Nibelungenlied.  Best  known  among  his 
works  is  The  Falcon  (Falkenlied^),  the  falcon  symbolizing  the 
hero,  and  thereafter,  the  inconstant  lover — an  ever  recurring 
literary  symbol  (cf.  Kriemhild's  dream  in  the  Nibelungenlied 
and  also  songs  of  Dietmar,  Reinmar,  Heinrich  von  Miigeln  and 
Meinloh  von  Sevelingen). 

MECHTHILD    VON     MAGDEBURG   (c.    I207-I285),   myS- 

tic  writer  best  known  for  her  Das  fliessende  Licht  der  Gottheit, 
after  her  novitiate  in  Magdeburg  entered  the  Cistercian  con- 
vent in  Helfta,  near  Eisleben,  where  she  died.  Her  verse  fuses 
the  qualities  of  the  Canticles  with  those  of  the  minnesang,  ex- 
pressing adequately  her  intense  religious  feelings. 

NEIDHART     VON     REUENTAL    (c.     I180-I250) Reuen- 

thal  means  'Valley  of  Cares,"  a  name  given  to  him  because  of 
his  incurable  penury — was  born  in  the  region  of  Landshut,  in 
Bavaria,  of  noble  parentage.  During  his  youth  he  sojourned  at 
the  court  of  the  Duke  Louis  of  Bavaria  and  participated  in 

Notes  and  Biographical  Sketches  455 

1 21 7-1 219  in  Leopold's  expedition  to  Syria.  Toward  1230,  hav- 
ing lost  Duke  Ottoman  II's  favor,  he  served  Frederick  II  of 
Austria.  Little  or  nothing  is  known  about  him  after  1237.  By 
depicting,  and  often  burlesquing,  the  life  and  manners  of  the 
peasantry  in  his  dance-songs  (T anzlieder) ,  Neidhart  discovered 
a  new  vein  which  grew  in  popularity,  to  the  detriment  of  the 

REGENSBURG,    BURGGRAVE    VON    (c.     I  147),    Danubian 

minnesinger  of  noble  lineage,  was  probably  the  son  of  Burg- 
grave  Heinrich  III,  who  died  in  1 177,  and  brother  of  Burggrave 
von  Rietenberg,  who  also  wrote  poetry.  In  Regensburg's  work 
the  folkloric  mixes  with  the  world  of  chivalry. 

REINMAR    VON    HAGENAU,   dcf  olte   (c.    II55-I210)    was 

born  in  the  Alsatian  town  of  Hagenau,  not  far  from  Strasbourg, 
and  lived  for  a  long  time  at  the  court  of  Duke  Leopold  IV, 
whom  he  accompanied  in  the  crusade  of  1190.  He  left  several 
lieders  and  albas  and  a  crusading  song,  and  all  his  work  is 
characterized  by  a  sweetness  and  tenderness  suggestive  of 
Petrarch,  to  whom  he  has  been  compared.  Gottfried  von  Strass- 
burg  called  him  "the  nightingale  of  Hagenau." 

rosenplut,  hans  (XV th  century),  also  known  as  Hans 
Schnepperer,  was  a  Nuremberg  armorer  who,  championing  the 
rising  middle  class,  waged  a  bitter  struggle  against  the  powerful 
lords  then  headed  by  Markgraf  Albrecht  Achilles  of  Branden- 
burg. A  precursor  of  his  fellow  townsman  Hans  Sachs,  he  wrote 
satires,  plays,  political  songs,  crude  for  the  most  part  but  quite 

spervogel  (c.  1 170),  pseudonym  of  a  minstrel-knight,  a 
writer  of  didactic  poems,  folksy,  humorous. 

tauler,  johannes  (c.  1300-1371),  Dominican  friar,  a 
disciple  of  Meister  Eckart,  was  active  in  Basel,  Cologne  and 
Strasbourg,  his  native  city.  In  addition  to  his  sermons,  eighty  of 
which  are  extant  and  which  show  him  as  a  popularizer  of  the 
ideas  of  the  great  mystics,  he  wrote  some  lovely  religious  lyrics. 

ulrich  von  lichtenstein(c.  1 200-1 275),  Styrian 
knight  from  Lichtenstein,  led  an  adventurous  life  colored  by 

456  Germany 

the  ideals  and  madness  of  Don  Quixote.  His  autobiography  in 
verse,  Vrowendienst  (c.  1255),  presents  a  panoramic  view  of 
life  at  the  end  of  the  minnesang  and  of  knight  errantry.  Ulrich 
wrote  also  over  sixty  lyrics:  dance-songs  QT anzlieder) y  love 
songs,  and  albas.  The  charming  "Among  Sweet  Tones  in  Forest 
Bowers"  was  set  to  music  by  Mendelssohn. 

WALT  HER     VON     DER     VOGELWEIDE    (c.     II70-I230) 

has  been  considered  the  greatest  lyric  poet  in  the  German  lan- 
guage before  Goethe.  Born  in  the  Austrian  Tyrol,  he  probably 
studied  in  a  religious  school  where  he  learned  the  art  of  poetry, 
making  his  literary  debut  toward  1190.  In  Vienna  he  served  in 
the  court  of  Duke  Leopold  V,  competing  there  with  Reinmar 
von  Hagenau  (q.v.).  After  Leopold's  death  (1194)  he  con- 
tinued in  the  service  of  Leopold's  son,  Frederick  I,  who  met  an 
untimely  death  in  the  Holy  Land  (1198),  and  after  that 
Walther  roamed  the  land — now  following  the  son  of  Frederick 
Barbarosa,  now  Othon  of  Brunswick.  When  Pope  Innocent  III 
excommunicated  Othon,  Walther  sided  with  Othon  and  rose 
violently  against  the  Pope.  Toward  1220  Frederick  II  granted 
Walther  a  fief  in  Wurzug,  where  he  lived  until  his  death.  It 
is  not  at  all  certain  that  he  took  part  in  the  Sixth  Crusade 
(1228- 1 229).  Walther  left  approximately  200  pieces:  lieder, 
pastourelles,  gnomic  poems  and  much  political  verse — some  of 
which  are  among  the  loveliest  lyrics  in  the  German  language. 

wilde  Alexander,  der  (late  XHIth  century),  i.e.,  the 
wandering  Alexander,  is  the  pseudonym  of  a  commoner  from 
Southern  Germany,  a  rather  enigmatic  figure,  who  delighted  in 
allegorical  and  gnomic  poems.  One  of  his  singular  contri- 
butions, unique  for  his  times,  was  children's  poetry. 

wolfram  von  eschenbach  (c.  11 70-1 21 7),  con- 
sidered the  greatest  epic  poet  of  medieval  Germany,  was  born 
in  Eschenbach,  near  Ansbach,  and  served  as  counselor  to  vari- 
ous lords,  among  others  Count  von  Wertheim  and  the  Land- 
grave Hermann  of  Thuringia.  His  major  work  was  Parzival. 
His  lyrics,  some  eight  lieder  and  five  albas  or  Tagelieder,  are 
characterized  by  their  dramatic  and  sensuous  qualities. 



Adams,  H.  Mont-Saint- Michel  and  Chartres.  Garden  City,  N.Y.: 

Doubleday  Anchor  Books,  1959. 
Auerbach,   E.   Mimesis.   Garden   City,    N.Y.:    Doubleday   Anchor 

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Abu  Salt  Umayya,  291 
Abu-1-Hasan    Ben    Al-Qabturnuh, 

Abu-1-Hasan  Al-Husri,  290 
Abu  Zakariyya,  292 
Adam  de  la  Halle,  147,  193 
Agnes     de     Navarre-Champagne, 

158,    193 
Airas  Nunes,  300,  389 
Aist,  Dietmar  von,  413,  453 
Alain  Chartier,  172,  193 
Albrecht  von  Johansdorf,  420,  453 
Alcamo,  Cielo  d',  209,  276 
Alfonso  X,  303,  388 
Al-Husri,  Abu-1-Hasan,  290 
Al-Magribi,  Ben  Said,  292 
Al-Qabturnuh,    Abu-1-Hasan   Ben, 

Al-Talla,  Ibn,  290 
Alexander,  Der  Wilde,  449,  456 
Ali  Ben  Hariq,  291 
Alighieri,  Dante,  245,  276 
Angiolieri,  Cecco,  233,  275 
Arezzo,  Guittone  d',  223,  278 
Aquino,  Rinaldo  d',  221,  279 
Assisi,  St.  Francis  of,  206,  277 

Bacalaria,  Uc  de  la,  73,  74,  90 
Beatritz  de  Dia,  39,  84 
Ben  Hazm,  289 
Ben  Said  Al-Magribi,  292 
Ben  Suhayd,  289 
Berbezilh,  Richart  de,  62,  90 
Berceo,  Gonzalo  de,  323,  391 
Bernart  de  Ventadorn,  29,  85 
Bertran  de  Born,  50,  85 
Bethune,  Conon  de,  116,  144 
Bologna,  Onesto  da,  254,  278 
Bonagiunta  Orbicciani,  221,  275 
Born,  Bertran  de,  50,  85 
Bornelh,  Giraut  de,  41,  86 

Brule,  Gace,  125,  195 
Burggrave   von   Regensburg,   411, 

Cabestanh,  Guilhem  de,  69,  86 
Cardenal,  Peire,  77,  88 
Cavalcanti,  Guido,  234,  277 
Cecco  Angiolieri,  233,  275 
Cercamon,  12,  85 
Charles  d'Orleans,  174,  197 
Chartier,  Alain,  172,  193 
Chastelain  de  Coucy,  115,  193 
Chretien  de  Troyes,  108,  194 
Christine  de  Pisan,  163,  194 
Cielo  d' Alcamo,  209,  276 
Cino  da  Pistoia,  253,  276 
Codax,  Martin,  313,  388 
Colin  Muset,  138,  194 
Conon  de  Bethune,  116,  194 
Coucy,  Le  Chastelain  de,  115,  193 

Dalfin  d'Alvernhe,  67,  85 
Dante  Alighieri,  245,  276 
D'Aurenga,  Raimbaut,  35,  89 
Der    Burggrave    von    Regensburgr 

4H>  455 
Der  von  Kiirenberg,  409,  454 
Der  Wilde  Alexander,  449,  456 
Deschamps,  Eustache,  159,  195 
Dia,  Beatritz  de,  39,  84 
Dietmar  von  Aist,  413,  453 
Dinis,  King  of  Portugal,  318,  388 
Donati,  Forese,  250 

Enzo  Re,  217,  276 

Eschenbach,    Wolfram    von,    430, 

Eustache  Deschamps,  159,  195 

Faidit,  Gaucelm,  72,  74,  86 
Fazio  degli  Uberti,  269,  276 

Index  of  Poets 


Fernandez,  Roi,  314,  388 
Fernandez  de  Turned,  Nuno,  302, 

Folgore  da   San   Gimignano,    231, 

Forese  Donati,  250 
Francis  of  Assisi,  St.,  206,  277 
Franco  Sacchetti,  272,  279 
Friedrich  von  Hausen,  415,  454 
Froissart,  Jean,  156,  195 

Gabirol,  Solomon  Ibn,  296,  387 
Gace  Brule,  125,  195 
Gaucelm  Faidit,  72,  74,  86 
Giacomo  da  Lentino,  208,  277 
Giraut  de  Bornelh,  41,  86 
Guido  Cavalcanti,  234,  277 
Guido  Guinizelli,  219,  278 
Guilhade,  Joan  de,  315,  389 
Guilhem  de  Cabestanh,  69,  86 
Guillaume  de  Lorris,  126,  195 
Guillaume  de  Machaut,  153,  196 
Guinizelli,  Guido,  219,  278 
Guiot  de  Dijon,  123,  196 
Guittone  d'Arezzo,  223,  278 

Hagenau,  Reinmar  von,  der  Alte, 

4i7>  455 
Halevi,  Judah,  298,  387 
Halle,  Adam  de  la,  147,  193 
Hariq,  Ali  Ben,  291 
Hausen,  Friedrich  von,  415,  454 
Hazak,  Jacob  Bar  Juda,  149,  196 
Hazm,  Ben,  289 

Heinrich  von  Morungen,  423,  454 
Hurtado  de  Mendoza,  Diego,  337, 

Ibn  Al-Talla,  290 

Jacob  Bar  Juda,  Hazak,  149,  196 
Jacopone  da  Todi,  224,  278 
Jaufre  Rudel,  25,  87 
Jean  de  Meun,  128,  195 
Johansdorf,  Albrecht  von,  420,  453 

Kurenberg,  Der  von,  409,  454 

Le  Chastelain  de  Coucy,  115,  193 

Lentino,  Giacomo  da,  208,  277 
Lichtenstein,  Ulrich  von,  446,  456 
Lopes  de  Baian,  Afonso,  314,  389 
Lopez   de   Mendoza,   Ifiigo   (Mar- 
ques    de     Santillana),     341, 

Lorenzo,  Juan,  325,  391 
Lorris,  Guillaume  de,  126,  195 
Llull,  Ramon,  373,  393 
Lubbal,  Qadi  Ben,  292 

Machaut,  Guillaume  de,  152,  196 
Macias  O  Namorado,  321,  389 
Malik,  Sahl  Ben,  291 
Manrique,  Jorge,  344,  391 
Marcabru,  15,  87 
March,  Ausias,  376,  394 
March,  Pere,  375,  394 
Marie  de  France,  109,  197 
Mauleon,  Savaric  de,  74,  90 
Mechthild   von   Magdeburg,    447, 

Mena,  Juan  de,  343,  392 
Meogo,  Pero,  308,  389 
Meun,  Jean  de,  128,  195 
Montaudun,  The  Monk  of,  64,  88 
Morungen,  Heinrich  von,  423,  454 
Muset,  Colin,  138,  194 

Neidhart  von  Reuental,  443,  455 
Nunes,  Airas,  300,  389 

Onesto  da  Bologna,  254,  278 
Orbicciani,  Bonagiunta,  221,  275 
Orleans,  Charles  d',  174,  197 

Peire  Cardenal,  77,  88 

Peire  Vidal,  43,  88 

Peirol,  67,  88 

Pero  Meogo,  308,  389 

Petrarch,  Francesco,  255,  279 

Pisan,  Christine  de,  163,  194 

Pistoia,  Cino  da,  253,  276 

Qadi  Ben  Lubbal,  292 

Raimbaut  d'Aurenga,  35,  89 
Raimbaut  de  Vaqueiras,  40,  89 
Re  Enzo,  217,  276 


Index  of  Poets 

Regensburg,    Der   Burggrave   von, 

Reinmar  von  Hagenau,  der  Alte, 

Reuental,  Neidhart  von,  443,  455 
Richard    the    Lion-Hearted,     114, 

Richart  de  Berbezilh,  62,  90 
Rinaldo  d' Aquino,  221,  279 
Roiz  de  Castelo-Branco,  Joao,  317, 

Rosenpliit,  Hans,  451,  455 
Rudel,  Jaufre,  25,  87 
Ruiz,  Juan  (Archpriest  of  Hita), 

328,  392 
Rutebeuf,  140,  197 

Sacchetti,  Franco,  272,  279 

Sahl  Ben  Malik,  291 

San  Gimignano,  Folgore  da,  231, 

Sanchez    Calavera,    Ferran,    338, 

Sant  Jordi,  Jordi  de,  379,  394 
Santillana,  Marques  de,  341,  392 
Savaric  de  Mauleon,  74,  90 
Sem  Tob,  336,  393 

Solomon  Ibn  Gabirol,  296,  387 
Spervogel,  412,  456 
Suhayd,  Ben,  289 

Tauler,  Johannes,  450,  456 

Tob,  Sem,  336,  393 

Todi,  Jacopone  da,  224,  278 

Uberti,  Fazio  degli,  269,  276 
Uc  de  la  Bacalaria,  73,  74,  90 
Ulrich  von  Lichtenstein,  446,  456 
Umayya,  Abu  Salt,  291 

Vaqueiras,  Raimbaut  de,  40,  89 
Ventadorn,  Bernart  de,  29,  85 
Vidal,  Peire,  43,  88 
Villon,  Francois,  184,  197 
Vogelweide,     Walther     von     der, 

435,  456 
Walther  von  der  Vogelweide,  435, 

Wilde  Alexander,  Der,  449,  456 
William  IX,  Count  of  Poitiers,  6, 

Wolfram    von    Eschenbach,    430, 

Zakariyya,  Abu,  292 
Zorro,  Joan,  310,  390 

ndex  of  Translators 

Aldan,  Daisy,  31-32,  45-47,  100,  105-109,  1 18-122 

Barker,  Gillian,  415-416,  417-419,  422,  427-430,  432-434,  435-438, 

439-440,  441-442 
Barrett,  R.  G.  L.,  448-449 

Bergin,  Thomas  G.,  6-1 1,  32-33,  67-69,  79—81 
Bergonzi,  Bernard,  258 

Birenbaum,  Harvey,  12-13,  28-29,  39,  62-64,  77-79,  184 
Bishop,  Morris,  256-258,  259,  260-262,  267-268,  269 
Blackburn,  Paul,  13-25,  33-35,  49~52,  64-65,  69-71,  74-77 
Bonner,  Anthony,  184—185 

Index  of  Translators  463 

Brandeis,  Irma,  147-149,  237-238 

Closs,  Elizabeth,  403-404 
Cotterell,  Mabel,  447-448,  450-451 

Dahlberg,  Charles,  126-138 

Davis,  William  M.,  26-28,  41,  47-49,   54-56,   57-59,  60-62,  81-83, 

144-146,   149-152,   153,  206-207,  240,  293-300,  301-303,  308- 

314,   314-322,   324-328,   3^9-333,   338-341,   343-344,   352-356, 

359-36i,  362,  366-367,  370-385 
De  Palchi,  Alfredo,  206,  247-248 
Di  Giovanni,  Norman  T.,  336—337 
Donno,  Daniel  J.,   208-209,   219—220,   221-223,   233-234,   236,   245, 

253-254,  272 
Duffy,  James,  357~359 
Durling,  Dwight,  152,  1 70-1 71,  177-178,  263-264,  265,  267,  269—272 

Elmslie,  Kenward,  402,  404-409,  411-413,  438-439,  451-452 

Fiedler,  Leslie  A.,  248-250 
Fletcher,  Frances,  341—342 
Flores,  Kate,  337~338,  365 
Fraser,  G.  S.,  234-235,  242-243 

Gee,  Kenneth,  415-416,  417-419,  422,  427-430,  432-434,  435-438, 

439-440,  441-442 
Goode,  Judith,  246 
Gould,  Joy,  231-233 
Gray,  John,  224-230 

Honig,  Edwin,  328-329,  361-362,  363-365,  366 

Keller,  John  E.,  303-307 

Kemp,  Lysander,  289-290,  290-293,  368-370 

Battel,  Muriel,   122-123,   160-170,   172-173,   175-177,   178-183,   185- 
189,  190-191 

Lancaster,  Charles  Maxwell,  99 

LeClercq,  Jacques,  6,  102,  154,  156-160,  174-175 

Leishman,  J.  B.,  423—426 

Lowell,  Robert,  449—450 

Morgan,  Edwin,  259-260,  264,  266-267,  344_352 

Nozick,  Martin,  342-343 

Oliver,  Kenneth,  446-447 

Passage,  Charles  E.,  1 09-1 13,  430-432,  434 
Patt,  Beatrice  P.,  323-325 

Raiziss,  Sonia,  206,  247—248 

464  Index  of  Translators 

Richey,  Margaret  F.,  410-41 1,  413-415,  416-417,  419-422,  440-441, 

Rossetti,  D.  G.,  209-216 
Russell,  Peter,  264-265,  268 

Salinger,  Herman,  400—401,  426—427 

Shapiro,  Norman  R.,  40,  41-42,  72-74,  104,  138-140,  141-144,  152- 

153,  154-156 
Sharpe,  Lawrence  A.,  301,  314 

Terry,  Patricia,  101-102,  102-103,  105-106,  114-117,  123-126 
Tobin,  James  Edward,  140-141,  147,  171-172,  173-174,  334 
Tusiani,  Joseph,  238-240,  243-244 

Valency,  Maurice,  5,  25-26,  35-39,  43-45,  65-67,  208,  221,  223-224, 
235-236,  245-246,  254-256,  262,  273 

Wilhelm,  James  J.,  29-31,  53-54,  56-57,  59~6o,  217-218,  237,  238, 

241—242,  250—253 
Willis,  Ellen,  189-190 

Yorck,  Ruth,  402,  404-409,  411-413,  438-439,  451-452 

INDEX    OF    TltleS 

(Titles  that  are  also  first  lines  are  indicated  in  Roman  type) 

A  Debate,  74 

A  knight  was  with  his  lady  fondly  lying,  72 

A  lady  at  the  watchman's  song  perceived,  430 

A  lady  begs  me,  238 

A  lady  stood  alone,  414 

A  shepherdess  well  made,  319 

Abenamar,  366 

About  two  kings  I'll  write  half-a-poem,  56 

Absorbed  in  one  fond  thought  that  makes  me  run,  263 

Afrdh,  298 

Ah,  God,  who  made  her  good  to  see,  182 

Ah!  How  I  fear,  Milady,  lest  I  die,  156 

Ah  how  I  like  to  see  great  power  pass,  59 

Ah  me,  alas!  Am  I  so  very  base,  253 

Ah  me  poor  wretch,  who  loved  a  falcon,  206 

Ah  me,  shall  I  no  longer  see,  424 

Index  of  Titles  465 

Ah  moon,  you  shine  too  long,  1 66 

Ah,  waves,  I  come  to  see,  313 

Ah,  woe  to  me  alas,  for  love  has  bound,  254 

Ails  a  human  heart,  448 

Alas!  if  I  had  married,  374 

Alas,  ugly  lady,  you  complained,  316 

All  too  much  I  long  to  see,  149 

All  winter  I  lay  alone  until  a  lady  brought  me  solace,  411 

Almighty  God,  who  made  the  noble  state,  1 73 

Alone  am  I,  alone  I  wish  to  be,  165 

Alone  in  martyrdom  I  have  been  left,  1 68 

Along  the  river  shore,  311 

Am  I,  am  I,  am  I  fair?,  161 

Among  sweet  tones  in  forest  bowers,  446 

An  Amorous  Thorn,  272 

And  if  some  place  I  have  a  home,  443 

Arise,  fond  lover,  who  sleeps  on  chilly  mornings,  302 

As  lilies  white,  more  crimson  than  the  rose,  152 

Away  with  you!  Begone!  Begone!,  178 

Ballad  for  Fat  Margot,  187 

Ballad  of  Juliana,  361 

Ballad  of  the  Cool  Fountain,  366 

Ballad  of  the  Fair  Melisenda,  363 

Ballad  of  the  Hanged,  190 

Ballad  of  the  Ladies  of  Olden  Times,  1 89 

Be  gallant,  mannerlie  and  pure  of  heart,  1 56 

Beauty  of  women  of  noble  heart,  235 

Behold  the  Lovely  Maid!,  297 

Below  the  brow  I  bear  your  lovely  countenance,  379 

Beyond  the  sphere  which  turns  most  distant,  245 

Bursting  leaves,  flowers  opening,  433 

But  is  there  no  flower,  perfume  or  violet?,  160 

By  God,  my  lords,  let  us  lift  the  veil,  338 

By  the  sweat  of  my  brow  I  toiled,  107 

By  water's  edge  sing  sisters  three,  1 04 

Children  won't  do  what  they  ought,  438 

Come,  bewitcher,  294 

Come,  January,  I  give  you  these  treats,  231 

Come,  let  us  taste  delight,  181 

Comes  Easter,  ah,  without  him,  295 

Complaint  of  the  Weavers,  108 

Count  Arnaldos,  362 

Cups  without  wine  are  lowly,  298 

Dalfin,  a  target  for  your  bow,  67 

Dearest  Love  of  God,  I  pray  Thee,  evermore  enfold  my  soul,  448 

466  Index  of  Titles 

Death  cannot  sour  the  sweetness  of  her  face,  269 

Delgadina,  368 

Despair  herself  regards  me  as  her  son,  234 

Dispute  of  Elena  and  Maria,  327 

Do  not  speak  to  me,  count,  358 

Do  you  know  what  the  hedgehog  said?,  412 

Don  Pitos  Pay  as,  329 

Easter  Day,  334 

Encounter  of  the  Archpriest  with  V errand  Garcia,  328 

Fair  Aye  sits  at  her  cruel  lady's  feet,  102 

Fair  now  to  behold  the  outgreening,  32 

Far  from  you  and  close  to  care,  341 

Father  in  heaven,  after  each  lost  day,  258 

Floret  silva  undique,  404 

For  April  I  give  you  the  countryside,  232 

For  Mr.  X  I've  only  mischief,  315 

Fresh  newborn  rose,  241 

Friend  Bernard  de  Ventadorn,  29 

Friend,  I  can't  deny,  317 

From  thought  to  thought,  from  mountain  peak  to  mountain,  260 

Full  well  I  know  how  to  speak  of  love,  35 

Gentle  knight/ Now  give  me  a  kiss,  359 

Go,  grieving  rimes  of  mine,  to  that  hard  stone,  267 

Go  out,  worm,  with  nine  little  worms,  402 

Great  is  my  envy  of  you,  earth,  in  your  greed,  266 

Hair,  my  pretty  hair,  310 

Have  mercy,  Love!  Give  ear,  223 

He  has  not  sung  who's  made  no  sound,  28 

He  who  asks  a  wolf  to  dine  soon  has  cause  to  wail,  412 

He  who  scrubs  a  raven  white,  451 

Heavenly  King,  glorious  God  of  light,  41 

High  waves  that  ride  the  sea,  41 

Hill  Song  [Near  Tahlada],  331 

Hill  Song  of  La  Zarzuela,  359 

His  Poverty,  140 

His  Repentance,  141 

I  am  an  enemy  to  trickery  and  pride,  yy 

I  am  Francois,  to  my  dismay,  184 

I  apologize,  my  lady,  though  guiltless,  57 

I  curse  the  hour,  the  moment  and  the  day,  1 54 

I  dwell  in  deep  anxiety,  39 

I  find  no  peace,  yet  am  not  armed  for  war,  262 

I  found  without  a  guard,  422 

Index  of  Titles  467 

I  gaze  upon  her  light  crisp-curling  hair,  269 

I  grew  up  in  a  village,  360 

I  have  made  a  sirventes  in  which  no  word  is  missing,  50 

I  have  no  liking  for  one  who  in  all  things  is  not,  385 

I  have  set  my  heart  on  serving  God,  208 

I  have  these  many  evenings  watched  for  my  beloved,  434 

I  like  gayety  and  horsing  around,  64 

I  love  him  who  loves  me,  otherwise  none,  181 

I  much  dislike,  I  dare  avow  it,  65 

I  never  saw  the  field,  443 

I  put  an  end  to  singing,  47 

I  refuse  to  be  a  nun,  357 

I  sat  cross-legged  upon  a  stone,  439 

I  seek  to  make  my  speech  a  yawp  as  bitter,  248 

I  stood  on  a  battlement  the  late  eve  darkened,  410 

I  think  that  love  will  come  my  way,  417 

I  went  in  quest  of  measure,  321 

I  will  no  longer  serve  you,  169 

I  will  not  pick  verbena,  358 

I  will  sing  and  so  relieve,  123 

If  all  the  grief  and  sorrow,  the  strife,  53 

If  I  must  feel  your  wrath  eternally,  152 

If  I  might  live  to  see  the  day,  416 

If  I  saw  one  who  could  say  he  was  come  from  her,  420 

If  I  were  fire,  I'd  burn  the  world  away,  233 

If  I'm  in  church  more  often  now,  171 

If  life  survives  these  years  of  bitter  woe,  255 

If  Mercy  were  a  friend  to  my  desires,  236 

If  the  world  were  mine,  404 

If  this  insensate  rage,  116 

If  you  go  to  bathe,  Juanica,  357 

If  you  truly  want  me,  294 

I'll  make  some  verses  just  for  fun,  6 

I'll  tell  you  in  my  own  way,  22 

I'm  pleased  when  gaudy  Eastertime,  60 

In  an  orchard  a  little  fountain  flows.  1 04 

In  an  orchard,  under  the  leaves  of  a  hawthorn,  5 

In  April  around  Easter  the  streams  grow  clear,  1 5 

In  Battle,  290 

In  Lisbon  by  the  sea,  311 

In  March,  for  you  a  gift  of  fish  I  boast,  231 

In  Mourning,  290 

In  my  dream  I  saw  a  woman,  4 1 6 

In  no  way  can  a  prisoner  reveal,  1 14 

In  October,  figuring  up  your  share,  232 

468  Index  of  Titles 

In  the  book  of  my  thought,  1 80 

In  the  fair  times  of  new-born  spring,  1  o 

In  the  green  grass,  309 

It  has  thrust  its  talons  through  the  morning  clouds,  431 

It  is  the  evening  hour;  the  rapid  sky,  256 

It  is  worthless  to  write  a  line,  33 

It'll  be  a  long  time  again  before  my  friends,  49 

John  Bolo's  acting  grim,  321 

Ladies  I  like  well  dressed,  375 

Lady,  wilt  thou  heal  my  smart?,  426 

Lady  world,  you  tell  the  devil,  441 

Lament  of  the  Virgin,  323 

Let  the  three  of  us  now  dance,  oh  friends,  301 

Let's  dance,  let's  dance,  us  pretties,  312 

Lord  'tis  said  that  from  the  world,  447 

Love  and  my  lady,  too,  149 

Love  is  a  subtle  spirit  that  can  slay,  253 

Love  often  agitates  my  heart  to  thought,  217 

Love  we  attend  the  Vision  of  the  Rose,  264 

Lover,  as  God  may  comfort  me,  158 

Lovers,  beware  the  dart  that  flies,  1 78 

Magic  Spells,  402 

Malady,  Death  and  Resurrection  of  Saint  Lazarus,  100 

Many  a  man  has  been  bewitched  by  an  elf,  427 

Mary  Magdalen's  Song,  408 

May  I  sing  to  you?,  122 

Mercy,  lover  mine!,  296 

Milady,  comely,  candid,  worldly-wise,  155 

Moral  Proverhs,  336 

Moriana's  Poison,  370 

Most  foolish  fools,  oh  foolish  mortal  men,  1 72 

Most  gladly  would  I  die  of  love,  448 

Most  hateful  is  it  to  my  eyes,  125 

Mother,  I  shall  not  sleep,  295 

Mother,  see  my  love!,  295 

Mountain  Song  of  Finojosa,  342 

Mourning  of  the  Mother  of  Lorenzo  Ddvalos,  343 

My  friend  is  going,  mother,  310 

My  heart  and  body  wish  to  take  their  leave,  41 5 

My  heart  is  captive  to  gray,  laughing  eyes,  171 

My  Lord,  although  I  strum  and  sing,  138 

My  Lord  Dragoman,  if  I  had  a  good  steed,  44 

My  lord  Ibrahim,  294 

My  lords,  I  pray  you  now,  give  ear,  37 

Index  of  Titles  469 

Never  the  summer  seemed  to  me,  404 

News  has  been  spread  in  France  concerning  me,  174 

Night  Fiesta  on  the  River,  292 

Nightlong,  daylong,  as  the  sweet,  6 

No  doubt  at  all,  I'll  take  him  on  as  critic,  17 

No,  little  sweetheart,  no,  295 

No  more  shall  I  take  comfort,  221 

Nothing  will  ever  seem  to  me  more  cruel,  246 

Now  has  come  the  gracious  month  of  May,  1 66 

Now  like  another's  child,  296 

Now  skies  and  earth  are  stilled  and  winds  are  dead,  263 

Nowhere  so  clearly  have  my  inward  eyes,  265 

Nuns'  Drinking  Song,  452 

O  flowers,  o  flowering  green  pine,  318 

O  lady  mine,  caught  you  no  glimpse  of  him,  237 

O  love,  all  love  above,  224 

O  Love,  O  Love,  what  wouldst  thou  make  of  me?,  157 

O  lovely  mountain  shepherd  lasses,  273 

O  waves  of  the  sea  of  Vigo,  313 

O  where  have  they  vanished  all  my  years,  436 

Of  all  known  flowers,  men  hold  the  rose  most  rare,  157 

Of  the  Characteristics  of  Small  Women,  334 

On  Saturday  evening,  the  week  at  an  end,  102 

On  the  heath  on  a  morning,  423 

On  the  linden  overhead  a  bird  was  caroling  its  lay,  413 

Once  on  a  certain  nameless  town,  79 

One  day  I  fondled  her  on  my  knees,  300 

One  day  the  rats  of  all  degrees,  1 59 

One  thing  they  say  displeases  me,  419 

Open  your  eyes,  Milady,  Tun  me  through,  155 

Out  of  love,  361 

Pale  beauty!  and  a  smile  the  pallor  there,  259 

Phol  and  Wo  tan  were  riding  in  the  forest,  402 

Poem  of  a  Glass  Blower,  105 

Pray  for  peace,  oh  gentle  Virgin  Mary,  175 

Priests  disguise  as  shepherds,  81 

Provencals  right  well  may  versify,  320 

Rassa  rises,  thrives,  and  prospers,  54 
Rich  in  love  and  beggar  to  my  heart,  153 
Romance  of  the  Rose  [Guillaume  de  Lorris],  126 
Romance  of  the  Rose  [Jean  de  Meun],  128 

Saw  you  the  ladies,  429 

She  has  wounded  me  right  through  my  heart,  428 

470  Index  of  Titles 

She  looked  at  me  and  her  eyelids  burned,  296 

She  used  to  let  her  golden  hair  fly  free,  259 

Since  I  no  longer  hope,  O  my  sweet  song,  243 

Since  my  courage  is  clarified,  23 

Sleepest  thou  yet,  my  sweeting?,  414 

Small  wandering  bird  who  singing  go  your  way,  268 

So  much  loving,  so  much  loving,  293 

So  much  the  more  as  I  draw  near  my  land,  147 

Some  I've  seen  so  crudely,  336 

Song  for  the  Virgin  Mary,  40  5 

Song  of  Parting,  317 

Song  of  the  Ill-Married,  104 

Song  VII,  303 

Song  XVIU,  305 

Sorely  tried  is  Israel,  the  hapless  folk,  149 

Sounds  of  the  Trades,  106 

Spinning  Songs,  101 

Stanzas  on  the  Death  of  His  Father,  344 

Stetit  puella,  403 

Strike  down  my  heart  with  but  a  single  blow,  1 54 

Summer  has  sent  his  minions  on,  1 77 

Sweet  lady  fair,  167 

Tell  me,  daughter,  pretty  daughter,  308 

Tenzone  Sequence,  250 

That  tree  with  its  leaves  atremble,  337 

The  Artichoke,  290 

The  Ballad  of  the  Hanged,  190 

The  Barhs  of  Mingo  Revulgo,  352 

The  Battle,  292 

The  Belle  Heaulmiere  to  the  Daughters  of  Joy,  184 

The  Book  of  Alexander,  325 

The  Book  of  True  Love,  328 

The  Cancionero,  357 

The  Canticle  of  the  Creatures,  206 

The  Circumcision  of  Our  Lord,  118 

The  Dawn,  291 

The  day  on  which  I  took  the  cross,  419 

The  Dispute  of  Chariot  and  the  Barber,  144 

The  earth,  like  a  girl,  sipped  the  rains,  298 

The  eyes  that  drew  from  me  such  fervent  praise,  266 

The  Falcon,  409 

The  frightful  basilisk,  most  poisonous,  208 

The  Gentle  Heart,  219 

The  gods  and  goddesses,  those  great,  1 70 

The  lament  for  the  love  of  heroes,  432 

Index  of  Titles  471 

The  Laustic,  109 

The  Lay  of  Hildebrand,  400 

The  Mistress  of  Bernal  Frances,  371 

The  nightingale  whose  ardent,  soft  despair,  267 

The  Oars  of  the  Galley,  291 

The  Old  Woman  Laments  the  Days  of  Her  Youth,  185 

The  Prisoner,  365 

The  Romancero,  361 

The  season's  here,  445 

The  Sequence  of  Saint  Eulalia,  99 

The  Spear,  292 

The  Storm,  289 

The  summertime  delights  me,  300 

The  sweet  softness  with  which  love  serves  me  often,  69 

The  sweet  voice  of  the  woodland  nightingale,  115 

The  time  is  such  that  each  brute  beast,  376 

The  Visit  of  the  Beloved,  289 

The  weather  has  laid  aside  his  cloak,  1 79 

The  White  Horse,  291 

The  widow  wearing  white  or  saffron,  375 

The  woods  are  wild  and  were  not  made  for  man,  264 

There  comes  a  ship  all  laden,  450 

There  in  a  woodland,  to  my  thought  more  bright,  242 

There's  no  day  without  night,  336 

There's  no  finer  treasure,  336 

They  have  told  me  some  news,  314 

This  I  know,  how  love  begins  to  be,  421 

Those  mountains,  mother,  357 

Thou  art  mine,  I  am  thine,  403 

Thou  sweetly-smelling  fresh  red  rose,  209 

Time  comes  for  those  ascending  to  descend,  217 

Titurel,  434 

To  a  short  day  and  a  great  ring  of  shadow,  247 

To  all  my  dainty  loves,  goodbye,  1 48 

To  Cino  da  Pistoia,  254 

To  Guido  Cavalcanti,  245 

To  Guido  Guinizelli,  221 

To  sing  with  joy  from  out  a  sorrowing  heart,  1 69 

To  the  Virgin,  147 

To  whom  shall  I  tell  my  sorrows,  360 

To  you,  Lady  Virgin  Santa  Maria,  373 

Torturing  glimpses  and  passions  unruly,  425 

True  love  warms  my  heart,  1 3 

Under  the  lime  tree,  435 
Under  the  sun  I  ride  along,  8 

472  Index  of  Titles 

Vexation,  enemy  of  youth,  381 
Villon's  Epitaph,  190 

Watchman  on  the  tower,  watch  with  care,  40 

Well  pleased  am  I  with  the  gentle  season,  45 

We're  the  pens,  saddened  and  dismayed,  238 

What  shall  I  do  or  what  become  of  me?,  293 

When  days  grow  long  in  May,  26 

When  I  breathe  this  air,  43 

When  I  see  the  skylark  winging,  3 1 

When  I  see  the  waves,  314 

When  it  is  May,  and  the  darkness  is  short,  101 

When  the  star  appears  at  daybreak,  374 

When  the  waters  of  the  spring,  25 

When  truth  disappeared  from  the  world,  301 

Where  is  the  place  my  thought  may  find  repose,  377 

Whether  long  or  sparing,  337 

While  we  watch  these  flowers  fair,  1 79 

Who  slays  the  lion?  Who  slays  the  giant?,  442 

Who's  there,  my  heart?— It  is  we,  your  eyes,  182 

Who's  this  that  comes,  as  each  man  looks  at  her,  235 

Whoso,  Lord  God,  being  bold  to  say,  440 

Why  do  we  let  them  oppress  us?,  107 

Winter  goes  and  weather  betters,  1 9 

Winter  has  done  us  great  harm  everywhere,  440 

With  mournful  tones  my  verses  start,  1 2 

Without  my  heart,  love,  thou  shalt  not  depart,  158 

Workers'  Songs,  105 

Ye  Gods!  of  time  I  am  weary,  163 

Years  back  when  we  were  children,  449 

You  have  done  so  much  by  your  great  gentleness,  164 

You  have  in  you  the  flowers  and  the  green  grass,  234 

You  say,  the  summer  is  here  now,  418 

You  see  me  like  the  elephant,  62 

You've  filled  my  mind  so  full  of  grief,  237 

Yvain,  108 


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